Philly Highlights

Dental Sleep Medicine

Philly Highlights

by Don A. Pantino, DDS

I would like to share some of the highlights from this year’s joint meeting of the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (ADSM), Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS), and the Association of Polysomnographic Technologists (APT)—the largest meetings dedicated to sleep medicine.

The ADSM meeting ran from June 3 to 6 beginning with a full day of hands-on clinical courses, and culminating with the ADSM credentialing examination on Sunday morning and the APSS half-day postgraduate course Updates in Dental Sleep Medicine on Sunday afternoon chaired by yours truly. This was the 13th annual meeting for the ADSM and the 10th year it has been held in conjunction with the APSS meeting. It was also one of our biggest meetings to date, reflecting the growth, demand, and interest that dentists have in sleep. There was a record number of abstracts dealing with dental sleep medicine submitted to both the APSS and ADSM meetings.

A highlight for me during the ADSM’s postgraduate course was the presentation by Peter Cistulli, MBBS, PhD, who traveled from Australia and who earlier in his career worked with Colin Sullivan, MB, BScMed, PhD, whom most of you know as the inventor of nasal continuous positive airway pressure. Cistulli described a number of studies including a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study using a sham appliance and a study showing the effect of health outcomes utilizing oral appliance therapy and its positive effect on blood pressure, heart rate, neurobehavioral function, daytime sleepiness, respiration, and snoring.

I had the opportunity to present “How Dentistry Can Help Manage Your Patients with Sleep-Disordered Breathing” at the APT’s 26th Annual Meeting. This was the second time I have had the pleasure to speak with this group that shares the common task of caring for patients with SDB. By a show of hands, two things were clear. First, most of the sleep centers that were represented had not had an opportunity to work with a dentist trained in dental sleep medicine. Second, patient management and follow-up remain a challenge. My message was that successful treatment of these patients is determined by their needs and desires, requiring sleep specialists to individually customize therapy. I demonstrated the ways that a dentist trained in dental sleep medicine can become an invaluable asset as part of the sleep team assisting in the recognition, treatment, and long-term care of the patient with SDB.

After attending the APSS/ADSM for 10 years in a row, I witnessed an interaction, awareness, and appreciation of the advantages attained by working together resulting in continued growth due to an increase in numbers and enthusiasm. All of this only happens if everyone participates, and I urge you to start making your plans for next year’s meetings in Colorado!

Don A. Pantino, DDS, is past president of the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (; associate clinical professor at the State University of Dentistry and Medicine at Stony Brook, NY; and a member of Sleep Review’s Editorial Advisory Board.