The Dental Hygienists Role in Screening for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and an impaired airway often results from orofacial myofunctional disorders. The signs of OSA often present in the oral cavity, and early intervention of OSA can be life changing. Intervention helps reduce the risk of adverse health consequences and patient mortality. As health professionals, Dental Hygienists are in a prime position to identify signs of OSA and make referrals to physicians for early diagnosis and prompt treatment. This module will provide an overview of the symptoms and risks of OSA, as well as guidance on the steps that Dental Hygienists can take to identify OSA and associated conditions.
Upon completion of this activity, the participant should be able to:
- Relate the intraoral and extraoral signs indicating sleep disordered breathing to the dental hygiene clinical examination.
- Understand the influence of growth and development on airway and sleep.
- Understand the dental hygienist’s role in identification and intervention of sleep disordered breathing and obstructive sleep apnea.
- Apply screening practices into clinical practice
Janice Schmitz, CDA, RDH, DHSc is a Certified Dental Assistant and Registered Dental Hygienist. She completed her A.A.S. in Dental Hygiene at the Community College of Rhode Island in 2001. She is a graduate of the University of Bridgeport, Fones School of Dental Hygiene, earning a B.S. in Dental Hygiene in 2012, a M.S. in Dental Hygiene in 2015, and a Doctorate in Health Sciences in 2021. Her doctoral dissertation research focused on obstructive sleep apnea and orofacial myofunctional disorders, their impact on the intra/extraoral clinical examination, and the role of the dental professional. She has practiced dental hygiene for more than 20 years, working in general and prosthetic dentistry.
Registration Fee: Free for MCPHS alumni and full-time staff; $12.00 for all other professionals.
Release Date: January 31, 2023
Expiration Date: January 31, 2024
Contact Hours: 1.5
This module qualifies as credit when reporting to the MA Board. Please check with your state licensing board to ensure eligibility for credit if you are licensed in a state other than Massachusetts.
Janice Schmitz holds no financial interests with ineligible companies.
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Continuing Education staff members hold no financial relationships with ineligible companies related to the content of this presentation.