Today’s Dentistry led by Dr David Kerr is on a mission to tackle a potentially life threatening illness that affects up to one in 15 Australians.
Dr David Kerr wants to shine a light on undiagnosed sufferers of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), which is on the rise and recognised as a global epidemic.
Dr Kerr has long history in dental sleep medicine. As a dental student, he worked in a sleep clinic and has seen at his Brisbane Northside practice first hand, that something as seemingly innocuous as snoring or bad sleep can mask OSA. Untreated, OSA can lead to complications like high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.
He’s also seen the growth in development of treatments and the critical role dentists can play in identifying and treating the disease.
“Traditionally, there’s been very little acknowledgement from health professionals
or the general public on the negative effects on health of OSA,” Dr Kerr said.
“The main concern is there are a lot of people who have sleep apnoea and don’t know it. It often manifests as snoring but when patients come in to see us, it’s often the person they share a bed with who complains about the snoring.”
Dr Kerr and his partner Dr Darryl Marsh held a free public seminar in June 2017 to increase public awareness around OSA and how dentists are integral in the treatment pathway. The event attracted snorers, sufferers of sleep breathing issues and those already diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA.
While CPAP is considered the most effective treatment for OSA, Dr Kerr said 65% of his patients say they can’t, or won’t, wear the mask.
“There are limited options for them to consider so that’s where oral appliances come in,” he said. “Working with Sleep Physicians, we can and are treating people very effectively with these devices.”
Dr Kerr treats patients at his Chermside practice with the O2Vent, an oral appliance from Brisbane based Oventus Medical which is changing the way sleep apnoea is treated.
Today’s Dentistry is one of the few practitioners on Brisbane’s northside who is an Oventus Trained Clinician.
Developed by Brisbane dentist Chris Hart, the O2Vent features a unique, patented airway and is custom made for each patient.
Dr Kerr has been prescribing the O2VentTM for his patients for the last 18 months.
“The big kicker with the O2VentTM is the separate airway,” he said. “This device is well thought out, it is robust and we are getting great results,” he said.
Call us on 3263 2677 or contact us if you have any questions about snoring, sleep problems or Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. You can also request a copy of the information pack from our Snoring and Sleep Disorders seminar.