Dentistry’s role in the management of snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea

BDA, London, Friday 10th March 2017

This was one of the largest gathering of dentists interested in sleep medicine in the UK, with 40 delegates!

It was such a pity that Dr Aditi Desai, our President couldn’t join us due to her having suffered a stroke 5 weeks ago, as this event would not have happened without her. However, Prof. Ama Johal, Dr Mayoor Patel and Dr Tim Quinnell gave us the most interesting and entertaining day.

Prof. Johal did an excellent and engaging run over sleep medicine, snoring and OSA, and what we as dentists should/could be looking out for. This is a multidisciplinary subject, and it is really becoming apparent that more of our medical colleagues are accepting of our role in managing these patients. After all, as Prof. Johal pointed out in his final talk, they have CPAP, and then us – there is nowhere else for them to send their patients.

And there is a MASSIVE pool of disease out there.

Ama went through device design, and it was great to have such a big trade exhibition, with very experienced staff that really know what they are talking about. It is quite something to have so many non-clinicians so willing to help with cases on an individual basis.

Tim, a consultant Respirologist at Papworth Hospital, one of the first and largest Sleep Centres in the UK, had a very interesting (on first sight somewhat overwhelming!) hand-out. But his talk on ‘Sleep and what can go wrong’ ran fluently and entertainingly, and all those graphs, amazingly, made perfect sense. If we can engage the medics who are at this level, then we will get a fully integrated service in time.

Mayoor did a classic ‘you-call-out-quiz’ on the dentists role in identifying patients, showing pictures and asking the simple, but intriguing, question: ‘what do you see’. He covered the risk factors, and then the clues such as abfractions, inhibited gag reflex, vaulted palates, tori……

The BSDSM is in the final stages of re-writing the protocol that will mean we are all clearly indemnified, and Ama took us through that in its draft form. It will make life SO much easier, as it is considerably simpler to follow than before. It is a work in progress, and will be finalised for presentation at the November meeting.

Even if you consider yourself an experienced practitioner, you would have really enjoyed this day and would have walked out away feeling educated and enthused. The speakers all know their subjects inside out, and when people are lecturing with such enjoyment you cannot help but be swept along.

You may think with this subject that you have heard it before, but these speakers always manage to present things in a new light, and you pick up different tips every time. You have to think of every lecture day as a building block: keep coming along to be at the forefront of DSM.

We hope you will all join the BSDSM, and come to our next course on 3/4th November 2017.