Sister magazine Orthodontic Products publishes a cover story on Bandeen Orthodontics, which recently added sleep medicine services to its offerings.
The Bandeens recently hired a registered sleep technologist and added “Center for Dental Sleep Medicine” to the official name of the practice. It’s only been a few months, but Timothy is actively pursuing sleep apnea treatments in the orthodontic setting.
The idea had been in the works for a long time, but Timothy had concerns about sleep testing and measuring efficacy after treatment. “From an ethical perspective, I would not just give someone an appliance and say, ‘Here, hope it works,’” he explains. “So Chris, our registered sleep technologist, provided a larger framework and a care model when he joined the practice.”
Most oral appliance candidates who visit the Bandeens’ office have already had sleep tests, and some are looking for an alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment. Those who have not been officially diagnosed, but are suspected of having sleep apnea, are tested to confirm an official diagnosis of sleep apnea.
Timothy acknowledges that CPAP is still considered the “gold standard” for treating sleep apnea, but he also says that compliance problems are still prevalent among CPAP users, and oral appliances are considerably better than nothing.
“We’re members of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine,” says Timothy. “We’re working right now toward getting our practice accredited with that group. Emily and I are also training up to take the test for diplomate status with that group. It’s a lot of work. Meanwhile, we’re offering custom appliances to our patients—primarily some DynaFlex models that we like.”