How a dental splint helped a snorer and OSA sufferer...
How a dental splint helped a snorer and OSA sufferer...
Today, S4S Directors, Matt Everatt and Neil Bullement, are proud to announce an exciting collaboration with Prem Sehmi, Owner of Boutique Whitening, to become the exclusive manufacturer of whitening trays for his company.
As a highly common ailment, affecting nearly half of the population, snoring can heavily impact a person's life. Not only can it lead to a number of side effects for both sufferer and bed partner, it can also be a symptom of something more sinister - obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) - a potentially life-threatening condition.
Thankfully, once correctly diagnosed, there are several treatment options available to patients. Before discussing these, it is first important to understand what snoring and OSA are - and their causes.
Snoring: simple snoring is the noise resulting from a partial closure of the airway during sleep. As we fall asleep, our muscles relax. For snorers, this causes the lower jaw to drop back and partially obstruct the airway.
The reduced airflow then leads to the soft tissues in the throat vibrating, causing the snoring sound. Left untreated, snoring can result in: diminished energy, reduced libido, lack of concentration, and increased risk of stress.
OSA: Less often, snoring can take place as part of a more serious condition - OSA. This is the medical term for the repeated collapsing of the airway during sleep, resulting in complete (apnoea) obstruction of airflow for 10 seconds or more. Simply put, a person suffering from OSA will stop breathing for periods of time during sleep.
Sufferers can be categorised as mild, moderate and severe, depending on the incidence of apnoeic episodes per night. Consequences if left untreated include: increased blood pressure, heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, strokes, diabetes, and extreme daytime sleepiness. Crucially, those suffering from OSA are often unaware that they stop breathing for periods of time.
It is not uncommon for those suffering from snoring to consult their GP for advice. This typically leads to suggested lifestyle changes, including: weight loss, different sleeping positions, staying well hydrated and avoiding alcohol. Whilst these are important and will likely have a positive impact on snoring, they are unlikely to completely eradicate the problem - especially in the case of OSA.
Many people are unaware that dentists play a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment of snoring & OSA and can provide a number of dental appliances to combat the problem, known as a mandibular advancement splint (MAS). Such appliances are designed to prevent the lower jaw from dropping back during relaxation (sleep), in turn keeping the airway open and oxygen saturation high.
The use of MAS has been clinically proven to have a significant impact on snoring, with many dentists throughout the UK being trained to provide these appliances to reduce snoring. As part of the screening process, your dentist will ask you to complete a short questionnaire that assesses the quality of your sleep, as well as your level of tiredness in certain scenarios. There is also a section for your bed partner, if you have one, to complete. The results will be used to rule out OSA by determining your risk level. If you are suspected of suffering from OSA, your dentist should refer you on to your GP for further investigation - a non-invasive sleep study, which will accurately measure your sleeping patterns and oxygen saturation levels.
To take the effort out of searching for a dentist offering MAS treatment, you can use our handy Find a Provider search tool - located here. Ensure that the Sleepwell box is selected (removing other selections), enter your postcode, and discover available clinics nearby. You can then book an initial consultation with a trained dentist. If your dentist pushed you to read this article - speak with them, they will likely have an interest themselves, or, if not, an understanding of who locally can provide such treatment for you.
Introducing our new ultra-strong clear aligners - Duratain! Using a material that is stronger than others in the market, Duratain offers seriously strong first-class retention whilst being comfortable to wear due to its precise fit...
As a company that takes pride in raising money for both local and international charities, we're planning to make 2018 even bigger and better than before! The list is constantly being added to, but the most recent pledge is a team member that is going to be peddling hard for a whole 200km. Read on to hear her story.
Want to stop snoring? As a condition that affects over 40% of the population, it is no surprise that the majority of us have been impacted by snoring in some way, shape or form. Left untreated, snoring can lead to a number of side effects....
With our entire workforce based in Sheffield and a long history of providing quality products, we knew there wouldn't a be an issue being awarded Made in Sheffield status. That doesn't mean, however, that we aren't proud of receiving it!
Friday the 24th of November saw over 240 people come together for an evening of festive fun - all while raising money for a fantastic charity...
At S4S, we are constantly looking for new and effective ways to help our providers advertise treatment in their practice. As such, we are excited to reveal our new Sleepwell video & logo!
Designed for use in your waiting room and on your practice website, this video introduces the Sleepwell treatment and, more importantly, indicates that dentists can help them to seek treatment.
You can download the video via Dropbox below, or view sharing options via YouTube here.
Developed as part of a new collection, this Sleepwell logo ties in with our current colour scheme of blues and greens - now replicated across all logos - and also presents a cleaner font.
In addition to our new Sleepwell video & logo, we have also revamped our existing marketing materials. This includes new patient education leaflets, posters, and pre-screening questionnaires. Request our new materials here.
The most clinically proven MAS for the treatment of snoring & mild to moderate sleep apnoea, request a free info pack for your practice below.
Team of the Year - Highly Commended! The Dental Industry Awards happened this month in London, and our brilliant team have had their efforts recognised...
We introduce the key members of our team who are responsible for producing our first-class range of orthodontic appliances...
Matt Everatt - co-founder of Bruxism Awareness Week - talks about why there is a need for such an event.
S4S Technical Director, Matt Everatt was named as a Fellow of the Orthodontic Technician Association (OTA)
An issue that affects over 50% of the population, bruxism (the clenching and grinding of teeth) can lead to a number of side effects for the sufferer, which can be both painful and persistent.
Possible symptoms of bruxism include:
With the exception of tooth wear, there is nothing about the above list of symptoms that implies clenching or grinding of teeth could be the cause. Sadly, this is often the reason that bruxism remains one of the most overlooked and undiagnosed conditions in the UK, meaning that sufferers continue to experience discomfort.
A general lack of awareness of the condition means that it is common for those exhibiting the symptoms to consult their GP for advice, which typically leads to ineffective treatments that do not stop the pain from occurring. Thankfully, once correctly diagnosed, there are various treatment options available.
The cause of bruxism
Why bruxism occurs is not always clear, though there are a number of contributing factors that could suggest why you may be clenching or grinding your teeth:
Once identified as a bruxer, your dentist will likely suggest an occlusal splint for treatment. The most common form of treatment for bruxism, an occlusal splint is a device that slots on either your upper or lower teeth and prevents the two arches from contacting each other. This in turn inhibits the ability to clench, preventing grinding from occuring and the symptoms from persisting.
There are a number of occlusal splints available, one of which is the SCi (Sleep Clench Inhibitor). FDA-approved for the treatment TMJ & medically-diagnosed migraines, the SCi is available from a number of dentists throughout the UK. Alternative methods of treatment also include 'sleep-hygiene', cognitive behavioural therapy, muscle-relaxation, and even botox.
I think I'm a bruxer - where should I go?
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms above and suspect that bruxism may be the cause – book a consultation with your dentist. They should be able to determine, from the shape of your teeth alone, whether you are a habitual bruxer. They may also feel around your jaw area and lower neck for tenderness.
As it is a private treatment option, it may be that your current dentist does not supply this treatment. If this is the case, there is an easy way to locate a dentist who does. Our Find a Provider search function allows you simply enter your postcode to discover SCi providers in your area. To find your nearest SCi provider and to book a consultation, click here.
At S4S, we are proud of our orthodontic team and the appliances they produce. We want to invite you to see just how good we are!
Members of the British Orthodontic Society (BOS) and DAMAS accredited, we offer a full range of orthodontic appliances and a wealth of experience. With a focus on first-class customer service, the dentist and the patient are at the heart of all we do.
Made in-house by our qualified, GDC registered technicians, we offer functional, fixed and removable devices that are made entirely to our dentist’s specification.
To discover more about our full orthodontic range, request an info pack for your practice (including some great offers!), or even a visit from one of our client services team, click here.
We're also going to be at the British Orthodontic Conference in Manchester from September the 14th - come and see us at stand 37!
The BBC reported that the number of tests carried out by the NHS to diagnose people with sleep disorders across England has doubled in the past decade.
NHS data shows that 147,610 sleep diagnostic tests were carried out last year - compared to 69,919 in 2007-08. Sleep tests are more commonly undertaken to diagnose Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) - the most common sleep disorder, according to the NHS. OSA occurs when the muscles and soft tissue in the throat relax, causing a blockage of the airways. The lack of oxygen to the brain causes those with the condition to wake up or have regular interruptions to their sleep. Common symptoms include loud snoring or gasping and grunting whilst asleep.
Matt Everatt – Technical Director at S4S (UK) Limited, a Sheffield based company who provide dental appliances to treat snoring and Sleep Apnoea, said: “In 2005, we set up the company to help patients in the UK get help for Snoring and Sleep Apnoea. Having worked in the NHS for around 10 years treating these patients, it was obvious that there were millions unable to get help, either because there were no sleep services in their local hospitals, or they simply didn’t know how.”
He went on to say, “It comes as no surprise to me that the figures for sleep testing have doubled in the last 10 years. In fact, I suspect that our work at S4S and the network of 2000 dentists that we have trained to screen for OSA has contributed to the number of referrals to the NHS. Sleep Medicine in the UK is often referred to as a ‘3rd World service’ when compared to the US, Australia and, indeed, Europe. We have worked hard over the past 12 years to get more patients screened for signs and symptoms of OSA. We even set up links with Philips Respironics several years ago to try and offer a cost-effective ‘Private Sleep Study’ in hope to get more patients tested - patients unable to get tested in the NHS due to access or waiting lists. It’s staggering that only 22% of OSA patients get treatment here in the UK. Access to treatment needn’t be an obstacle anymore. Up until recently, Sleep Physicians would usually only offer cPAP to OSA sufferers. Dental appliances, known as Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS) are now used more regularly in NHS units, not only to treat simple snorers, but patients with severe OSA too. The devices, like the Sleepwell MAS, are not only clinically effective, patient compliance has now been proven to be higher than with cPAP in several studies.”
A local Sheffield MP, Meg Munn has spent many years of her career lobbying for Westminster to take a serious look at treating more OSA sufferers. In September 2016, she met Lucinda Roberts and Tamara Sandoul from the British Lung Foundation who presented a new report on the health economics of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). The report showed that treating OSA can generate direct health benefits to patients, and reduce costs incurred by the NHS, in comparison with not treating the condition.
Currently, only 22% of OSA patients are treated in the UK - but increasing diagnosis and treatment rates to just 45% could yield an annual saving of £28 million. This includes savings from reductions in road traffic accidents, heart attacks & strokes, as well as the positive impact on patients’ quality of life and improved survival rates. It is estimated that, if everyone with moderate to severe OSA was treated, approximately 40,000 road traffic accidents could be prevented - accidents that not only affect sufferers, but cause injury and death to others.
At Westminster Hall, Munn debated with the Health Minister on OSA and stated that as many as 40,000 lorry drivers may suffer from sleep apnoea, with one third of road accidents being caused by a working driver. In 2012, the number of people killed in road accidents was 1,754, with approximately 600 deaths involving people who drive for work.
Josie Beatson, from Sheffield, reported to the BBC that before receiving treatment for her sleep apnoea, the condition had a terrible impact on her life. She said: "It's embarrassing to be at work and have your colleagues wake you up because they can hear you snoring. The condition turned me into a recluse. I was so exhausted all the time that I didn't want to socialise, and, because of my loud snoring, I was too embarrassed to go and sleep at anyone else's house."
THE FACTS ABOUT OSA & SLEEP TESTING
The role of the dentist is crucial in the diagnosis and treatment of those suffering with snoring or OSA. S4S pride themselves on offering a comprehensive service that allows GDPs to get the training required to treat their patients.
Presented by Professor Ama Johal, one of the leading clinicians in sleep related breathing disorders, Snoring: A Role for the GDP stresses the part the dentist has to play and covers: sleep related breathing disorders, clinical reviews of MAS devices, skills required to prescribe MAS devices, and more. Find more information at here.
We recently ran a competition at two exhibitions we attended, offering stand visitors the chance to win a free CPD day - find out the winners now!
It has been reported that Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher died from sleep apnoea and "other factors", according to the Los Angeles County coroner. We discuss the condition, and the treatments available.
We welcomed a group of dental professionals to our laboratory on Thursday the 1st of June for an evening of learning and socialising!
For National Smile Month, we are aiming to raise awareness of three all-too-common problems, providing medically-proven solutions – to help you give your patients something to smile about!