The objective of this article is to review the role of the dentist in the early diagnosis of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and to provide an in-depth review of the best evidence-based practices available to treat and/or to refer these patients for intervention. Material and methods: A narrative review was performed using indexed data bases (PubMed, Medline, EMBASE, OVID, Scopus and Cochrane) up to year 2020, and approximately 1000 articles were reviewed. The articles included were those with the best information provided. Results: Detailed review of the literature suggests that the role of the dentist has been redefined owing to their expertise in the orofacial region. Every patient consulting a dental practice is not merely a dental patient; he/she also requires a comprehensive medical review. The role of the dentist is pivotal in pediatric patients once diagnosed with OSA; as the patients grow, growth modification can be achieved, and future management will be easier. Initiating dental treatments during growth can benefit patients two-fold, saving them from malocclusion, and intervening in orofacial structural growth can help to avoid cumbersome treatments, such as CPAP and various surgeries. Proper diagnosis and management of systemic illnesses can prevent compromised quality of life, delays in treatment, morbidity and, in some cases, mortality.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Dentistry
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- Polysomnography (PSG)
- Rapid maxillary expansion (RME)