As Chief Medical Officer at SomnoMed I occasionally come across physicians who would like to fit patients with “boil and bite” dental devices in their practices. At first glance it seems simple and could be a service to patients who could then be offered either CPAP or a dental device to treat their obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Custom devices can take a few weeks to be properly fitted and adjusted. A boil and bite device could potentially be used as a bridge for symptomatic patients and decrease time to treatment.
Physicians should think carefully about the consequences of making this a part of their practice. Dental sleep medicine is a field that requires both skill and experience. Physicians are familiar with studies that show initial experience and education when receiving CPAP is a strong predictor of future compliance. This is the case with dental devices as well. A poorly fitted and uncomfortable boil and bite device not only will be ineffective but also will lead to poor patient compliance and outcomes. There is also the issue of practicing outside ones scope of expertise. Periodontal disease, displaced bridges or crowns, tooth movement and temporo-mandibular joint discomfort are just a few of the common issues that need to be anticipated and managed. Patients will likely have to pay for the boil and bite devices out of pocket and if a custom device is needed in the future additional expense will be incurred which could have been avoided.
While there may be legitimate reasons to consider temporary devices they are best fitted and managed by experts who have training in sleep dentistry.
SomnoMed is global leader in COAT™ (Continuous Open Airway Therapy), and our devices are indicated for use for patients who fail CPAP therapy, as well as patients with mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Since 2004, SomnoMed’s world-class devices have been used to treat over 200,000 patients in 26 countries, and our devices are FDA cleared and manufactured under ISO 13485 quality standards. SomnoMed’s vast preferred dental network provides you with access to SomnoDent trained dentists in your area. Learn more by clicking here, or call 1-888-447-6673.
Dr. Jagdeep Bijwadia is the Chief Medical Officer at SomnoMed. He has an active Sleep and Pulmonary practice at the HealthPartners Medical Group in Saint Paul, MN and is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the University of Minnesota. He served as Department Head for the Pulmonary and Sleep group and Director of Sleep Medicine at HealthPartners Medical Group from 2006 to 2013, and was Director of the Sleep Program at the University of Minnesota from the 2006 to 2012.
He completed residency in Internal Medicine at Nassau University Medical Center, NY and fellowship training in Pulmonary and Critical Care at University of Southern California. Board certified in Sleep Medicine since 2000, he is a faculty member in the Sleep fellowship program at the University of MN, actively participating in both teaching and research. Dr. Bijwadia has a strong background and experience as a physician leader and is a certified Health Insurance Executive through the Kellogg School of business and the American Health Insurance Plan, and is currently completing an executive MBA at the University of St Thomas in Minneapolis. He is also President Elect of the Minnesota Sleep Society.