“Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life.”
This blog is dedicated to increasing awareness of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and stressing the importance of proper breathing and proper sleeping. OSA is a medical problem with an orthodontic solution. OSA can only be diagnosed by a medical doctor (MD). Treatments include oral appliances such as snoring devices and CPAP machines. While they are effective, they come with side effects, are difficult to tolerate and don’t address the underlying anatomical problem. OSA is a problem dealing with structure of the airway and the craniofacial anatomy, and as such, all orthodontic treatment can and should be developed around sustaining the best airway possible, especially in growing children. Airways can be enlarged and they can be developed. But they need to be visualized first. We will be presenting real case examples from our practice on this blog demonstrating this claim, along with published scientific evidence in peer reviewed journals to support the findings, so stay tuned.
This understanding is essential for patients suffering from OSA, and critical in children at risk for developing OSA. Airways tend to get smaller with age as our facial muscles lose tonicity, and accompanies “that extra” body weight that concentrates around our necks over time. We now have technology available which allows orthodontists to easily and safely image the airways in 3D, through a technology called Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) (figures 1 and 2).
It is therefore the absolute responsibility of ALL orthodontists, as “owners” of the craniofacial complex, to treatment plan around the airways. At Quintero Orthodontics, this approach has been our standard of care since we acquired the technology, in 2009. It is my belief, as well as that of a growing number of experts in our field, that all orthodontists should make the airway an integral part of their orthodontic work up. At the very least, it should never be overlooked or ignored. In fact, in our practice all orthodontic treatment planning is centered around the airways. “Airways first”, is our motto. It is currently one of the hottest topics in the field of orthodontics. Every month I will be posting a new article exploring this important and evolving topic. The results have been so remarkable that I feel obligated to spread this information to the general public and all health care practitioners. Thus, this blog is born. I have also been very busy lecturing on the topic to health care professionals and publishing in various journals. Some of my articles are available for free at http://www.quinteroorthodontics.com/articles.html as well as a bibliography list of relevant articles. My aim is to bring you the latest research on the subject in a patient-friendly language and real life case examples.
Be on the lookout for future topics which will include:
- OSA, what is it?
- Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) and safety considerations
- 3D imaging of airways
- The link between OSA and faces
- The link between OSA and pediatric OSA
- The treatment for OSA (OA, CPAP, MMA)
- Save the children: Prevention of OSA
- OSA and Orthodontics
- Airway centered orthodontic treatment
- Case report 1 (OMFS)
- Case report 2 (Phase I expansion)
- Case report 3 (Phase I expansion)
- Case report 4 (Herbst)