A Zanesville dentist becomes the first in the state to receive accreditation as a dental sleep medicine center.
While CPAP therapy is a popular form of sleep apnea treatment, Dr. Charles Hawkins, said some sufferers just can't tolerate the machine. Over the last year, he has treated patients with an Oral Therapy Device (OAT) that is similar to a mouth guard worn for sports.
"There's a little bit more to it then a mouth guard for basketball," explained. Dr. Hawkins DDS, "It's something that you wear at night and it brings your lower jaw forward."
Hawkins said by moving the jaw forward the person is basically performing CPR on themselves. It allows for better breathing and a better night's rest.
Recently, the Zanesville Dental Sleep Medicine Center run by Hawkins received a three year accreditation by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
"It was a long process. There was a lot of paperwork involved," said Dental Sleep Coordinator Cori Wilkes. "We had to deliver a manual and what it basically entails is we have to have a prescription from the sleep physician or their regular medical physician in order to seat the appliance. Dr. Hawkins can't diagnose sleep apnea."
Dr. Hawkins said that it took six months to gain accreditation which includes continuing education of staff, policies and procedures for accepting, treating and billing patients and adherence to approved standards for safety, customer service and patient follow-up.