Tufts provides sleep disorder training for dental students

The Dental Sleep Medicine Program at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine is training dental students to identify and treat sleeping disorders through the use of corrective mouth equipment, according to a story in The Tufts Daily.

Although the course, which was first offered in the fall of 2009, is currently an elective, Noshir Mehta, a professor and chair of general dentistry and director of Tufts Craniofacial Pain, Headache, and Sleep Center, hopes that it will eventually become a required course for all dental students.

Among the sleep disorders covered in the course is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is most often treated using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. However, although CPAP is largely effective, the mask can be awkward and uncomfortable. Through the Dental Sleep Medicine program, dental students are learning to treat OSA using alternative corrective appliances in place of CPAP, the Daily reported.

"The new Tufts program was born based on the need for new dentists to be aware of the high number of patients who suffer from sleep apnea," Leopoldo Correa, the course director and head of the school's Dental Sleep Medicine section, told the Daily.

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