Research and technological advancement in dentistry have occurred at a staggering pace and who could have predicted at the beginning of our careers that 3D imaging, CAD designed restorations, and laser surgeries would be commonplace in our profession. No less intriguing and challenging has been my introduction to the field of dental sleep medicine in 2008. I made the commitment to devote my career to this field and began practicing sleep apnea management full time in 2011; ultimately becoming Diplomate credentialed by both the ACSDD and the ABDSM.
The greatest challenge I have faced is educating physicians regarding the validity of oral appliance therapy and encouraging them to be comfortable advising their patients to consider this option when PAP therapy is not being used. New technology allowing the pretesting of patients to determine responsiveness to the oral device may ultimately help change the paradigm. Writing articles and essays on the topic at hand is one method I have used to help improve awareness, and I have written and presented programs to the public, to dentists and physicians as well.