Joint Dental Sleep Medicine and Craniofacial Pain Practice Thrives: Mayoor Patel, DDS, MS

Joint Dental Sleep Medicine and Craniofacial Pain Practice Thrives: Mayoor Patel, DDS, MS

Mayoor Patel, DDS, MS, articulates the hyperlinks between sleep and ache.

Enthusiasm radiates from Mayoor Patel, DDS, MS, when the subject turns to dental sleep medication, and it’s clear that the proprietor of Atlanta-based Craniofacial Ache and Dental Sleep Heart of Georgia has discovered his calling. Whereas all that optimism serves him effectively as an educator and clinician, the optimistic mindset doesn’t cloud his realism.

“There’s numerous work to be completed,” Patel says. “Many common practitioners [GPs] with CPAP noncompliant sufferers are coping with their sufferers’ hypertension and diabetes with solely remedy. We really feel resistance to oral equipment remedy from main care medication, however we’re merely attempting to get main care docs to see that there are viable alternate options to CPAP.”

Removed from disparaging CPAP, Patel’s goal is to coach and improve choices for sufferers who in the end care nothing for medical turf wars. If and when sufferers go the oral equipment route, the 47-year-old Patel is fast to remind his colleagues to do thorough follow-up.

“Too usually sufferers will get a tool, and so long as sufferers say they’re good, clinicians will allow them to float. Sufferers will need to have oversight as a result of problems can come up with oral equipment remedy,” says Patel, who can also be coauthor of the books Sleep Apnea Hurts—The Remedy Doesn’t Have To and Take a Chunk Out of Ache. “Dentists must have a system to deliver sufferers again and ensure gadgets are intact and there aren’t any unfavourable penalties of the oral equipment remedy.”

Ongoing Schooling

Patel teaches different dentists at a unbroken training course organized by Nierman Observe Administration. Picture courtesy Nierman Observe Administration

Within the realm of conventional dentistry, Patel discovered correct follow-up as a dental scholar on the College of Tennessee. After working at common practices in Norcross and Duluth, Ga, he went on to obtain his Certification in Orofacial Ache at Rutgers in New Jersey in 2004.

From the early 2000s to about 2008, training for dentists who needed to study oral home equipment was primarily a “hodgepodge of programs” all with totally different audio system. “I had the chance to get a grasp’s diploma at Tufts College on orofacial ache and dental sleep medication,” Patel says. “I took a distance studying accredited program, and it actually opened my eyes to many various avenues of sleep and ache.”

Patel has additionally earned Diplomate standing from many organizations, together with the Academy of Integrative Ache Administration, American Board of Craniofacial Ache, American Board of Orofacial Ache, American Board of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Drugs, and the American Board of Dental Sleep Drugs—the latter being probably the most essential to his dental sleep medication observe. He’s additionally a registered polysomnographic technologist.

Together with Terry R. Bennett, DMD, DABCP, DABDSM, from Tulsa, Okla, Patel developed a sleep mini residency that has been adopted by varied organizations. “We mainly supply a 4- and/or 8-day session,” Patel says. “Previously now we have completed them in Canada and a number of other at ResMed in San Diego. The thought was to create a construction: Begin with fundamental science; then on to sleep medication, the place now we have our medical colleagues lecture; an ENT discusses nasal passages; and naturally, there’s a complete dental part.”

“Dr Patel and I’ve introduced this program 13 totally different occasions,” says Bennett, who has two practices within the Sooner state. “We additionally developed a 5-and-a-half day TMD course and have given this course three totally different occasions. Mayoor understands the 2 disciplines completely and is ready to articulate the issues and options to his sufferers and to college students. He’s a compassionate particular person, and he’s the consummate instructor at coronary heart.”

Patel accepts the “instructor at coronary heart” mantle willingly and dedicates a portion of every week to lecturing. A typical routine goes one thing like this. “I work three days every week in scientific observe—Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday,” Patel says. “That offers me Thursdays to journey so I might be at a vacation spot to lecture on Friday, Saturday, and in some circumstances even Sunday.”

Three years in the past, Patel moved right into a 2,200-sq-ft workplace in Atlanta that features a 24-student capability lecture corridor. It’s a extremely handy area that sometimes motivates college students to return to him. “If I’m not touring for work, then it’s occurring right here on the town. I can really see my household and never journey as a lot,” Patel quips.

The large emphasis on training is a direct results of Patel’s personal prolonged journey to the sleep medication aspect of dentistry, a time he says that “took longer than it ought to have.”

Patel opens his workplace to colleagues who want to “shadow” and watch him work. “Since formally there aren’t any fellowships or residencies that one can do, we attempt to didactically present that training, and clinically they will visualize the entire course of,” Patel says. “Schooling is my subsequent forte, and it’s time for me to present again so this data base can transfer on and we are able to present higher look after our sufferers.”

Educating colleagues and sufferers is one factor, however clinicians in different areas of drugs can sometimes be a tougher promote. Patel and Bennett are doing their greatest to develop the understanding.

“Sleep medical doctors in my space weren’t actually very accepting to the thought of dentists attempting to deal with sleep issues and in addition infringing on their turf,” Bennett says. “They didn’t perceive the oral gadgets effectively, thought they had been too costly, and I had a tough time getting by means of to them. Instances are actually altering and we’re beginning to change into extra revered by our friends within the medical world. We’re working towards a collaborative effort with physicians to deal with all these sufferers.”

Finally, Patel desires extra non-public sector programs to be provided within the college setting the place college students who’re already in class can profit. “Once they graduate, they are going to have no less than some foundational information versus graduating from dental faculty and having to hunt out this data,” he says. “We do have a joint program with the College of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with Dr Greg Essex. We want comparable packages on the institution-level to get higher publicity for the scholars.”

Orofacial Ache Background


Patel conducts an examination of a TMJ for an viewers. Picture courtesy Nierman Observe Administration

Patel readily admits that burnout is a “huge downside” within the subject of common dentistry, with practitioners experiencing again and neck points, along with a “drill and fill” routine that may get tiresome. Along with being a brand new and invigorating problem, dental sleep medication presents some much less well-known benefits, he says.

For instance, when Patel broke his wrist in a automobile accident earlier this 12 months, he didn’t must cease working. His information was extra vital than his dexterity. He explains, “The attractive factor about dental sleep medication is that after sufferers perceive the advantages of oral home equipment, every thing from that time is handed to assistants to get the impressions. When gadgets come again from the lab, assistants match them, and dentists confirm that every thing is becoming correctly. Even with the required follow-up visits, there’s little bodily contact.”

Patel’s orofacial ache background laid the inspiration for a agency understanding of what it takes to maneuver the jaw ahead and open the airway. Extra importantly, realizing the anatomy and physiology of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) helps significantly when figuring out doable problems that may come up from oral equipment remedy.

“TMJ points, muscle, and sleep are three issues that go hand in hand,” Patel says. “Although we transfer the tongue ahead through the use of oral home equipment, we’re going to have an oblique impact on the jaw itself. Since I got here from the ache background and perceive the joints and the joint pathology, I understand how to defuse doable issues [from oral appliance therapy] and tips on how to decrease the problems. We have to perceive the jaw as a result of the tongue attaches to the decrease jaw.”

Larger understanding has led to higher outcomes all through the years. For instance, a lady in her mid 40s was referred to Patel with dizziness, ringing within the ears, and proper jaw ache whereas chewing meals. She had seen quite a few practitioners, from chiropractors to acupuncturists to conventional medication, however the root trigger remained maddeningly unaddressed.

After a analysis of extreme sleep apnea, adopted by CPAP dissatisfaction (leaking and discomfort), she emerged extra fatigued than ever. Patel recollects, “Her proper joint disc had slipped and he or she was a big grinder, which contributed to her ache. Being that she was apneic and noncompliant to conventional remedy, our alternative was to handle the joint and discover a method to oxygenate a bit higher. We did splint remedy to re-support the jaw and attempt to recapture the tissue and the correct jaw joint.”

As well as, Patel and his crew “fitted a dorsal equipment to handle her sleep, however we modified the dorsal system to additionally act like an evening guard. Nevertheless, we didn’t advance it as a lot as we’d advance a typical equipment if we had been solely managing it for sleep apnea. We needed one thing in there to forestall the jaw from falling again, however on the identical time we didn’t need to pressure the jaw till it was wholesome sufficient to maneuver that jaw ahead.”

Her first follow-up after receiving the gadgets confirmed important discount in her signs and decreased fatigue. “She did have mild loud night breathing however nothing loud or aggressive,” Patel remembers. “It was about Four to six weeks for the jaw joint to relax, and at that time we began advancing her decrease sleep equipment to the purpose the place subjectively she felt nice and the mattress associate had no loud night breathing complaints.”

She was finally examined with the dorsal system in her mouth, and the numbers confirmed that the apnea had decreased greater than 50%, whereas her oxygen saturation remained above 90%. The doctor agreed that the equipment remedy was working, although the affected person had residual apnea. “She was not fatigued and jaw points had been now not a priority,” Patel says. “For her, it was again to dwelling a more healthy life and being a mother, which had been her targets.”



As Patel prepares to inject 2% lidocaine, assistant Otilia Gustke stands by with fluoromethane spray to numb the jaw space.

On the strictly ache aspect, Patel makes use of home equipment for clenching/grinding, along with splints and orthotics. Particularly, he favors Glidewell Laboratories, Nice Lakes Dental Applied sciences, True Operate Laboratory, and Apex Dental Sleep Lab. “Bio Analysis is an organization that sells lasers for ache,” Patel provides. “Whip Combine has a Gem Professional, an ambulatory unit that appears at bruxism/loud night breathing/pulse ox, to see if there’s an underlying sleep difficulty that can require a referral to a sleep doctor. I additionally advocate prescription drugs corresponding to over-the-counter NSAIDS and prescription antiinflammatories.” For injection remedy, he buys anesthetic from a dental distributor. For software program to handle his TMJ and sleep observe, he prefers Nierman Observe Administration for its scientific knowledge seize, letter writing templates, and medical declare kinds. (Patel additionally lectures for Nierman Observe Administration.)

With prescription drugs, oral home equipment, splints, and orthotics as doable options, Patel cultivates a continuum that’s fully depending on affected person wants.

Whereas so-called “turf wars” usually are not a factor of the previous, Patel appears assured that day will come, ideally ahead of later. “The extent of respect for dental sleep medication has come a good distance,” he says. “At present there’s numerous consciousness and now we have numerous medical practitioners who’re oral appliance-friendly and perceive that many sufferers usually are not in a position to tolerate CPAP. They perceive that when that occurs, they should supply alternate options. I stay up for a time when respiratory therapists, nurse practitioners, doctor assistants, and MDs all have a agency understanding of oral equipment remedy.”

 Proceed this dialogue in particular person at an business supported occasion on the American Academy of Dental Sleep Drugs annual assembly. Patel is doing a scientific Q&A on dental sleep medication and ache on June 7 at 7 pm on the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio. Contact host Nierman Observe Administration for particulars.

Greg Thompson is a Loveland, Colo-based freelance author.

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