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21 December 2012
The Dental Defence Union (DDU) has today issued advice to dentists on the treatment of sleep problems, in response to a number of recent queries from members on the topic.
The DDU said dentists may be approached more frequently for advice from patients who snore following the screening of the BBC programme ‘Goodnight Britain’1, which featured people being treated for a variety of sleep problems.
Dental professionals are being advised to ensure they are appropriately trained and qualified and follow a recognised treatment protocol. The DDU says most dentists will only have the expertise to treat uncomplicated snoring with an oral appliance and may need to refer patients with more complex problems to their GP.
Rupert Hoppenbrouwers, Head of the DDU, said:
“It is estimated that a third of the UK population snore and while most people will not be seriously troubled by their habit, others may benefit from treatment, which might include the provision of an oral appliance by a dentist.
“Before treating patients for snoring problems, it is important that dentists ensure they are appropriately trained and qualified, carry out a full assessment of the patient’s suitability, and follow a recognised protocol. The DDU offers members indemnity for this type of work, provided certain criteria are met.”
The DDU advises dentists considering offering patients an oral appliance to help treat snoring to:
This guidance was correct at publication 21/12/2012. It is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.
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