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Released: Thursday, December 31, 2020
Expires: Sunday, December 31, 2023

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Hidden Health Crisis

By Ashley Spooner, DDS

Commercial Supporter: PDS University — Institute of Dentistry

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by episodic sleep-state dependent collapse of the upper airway, resulting in periodic reductions or cessations in ventilation, with consequent hypoxia, hypercapnia, or arousals from sleep. There are a variety of symptoms that dentists are better equipped to notice than other physicians and comprehensive conversations with patients about their symptoms and medical history can further aid in the process of identifying OSA. Dentists can thus play a critical role in the collaborative evaluation and treatment of patients with OSA, ultimately improving their quality of life.


  • Understand obstructive sleep apnea and its impact on patients.

  • Recognize modalities used to treat obstructive sleep apnea.

  • Learn how to effectively screen patients for obstructive sleep apnea.

About the Author

Ashley Spooner, DDS
Falcon Park Dental Group, Highlands Ranch, Colorado

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