Pearls Of Wisdom

Posts for tag: Dentistry

By Mark T. Brown, MD, FACS
February 13, 2014
Category: Sleep Medicine
Tags: Sleep Apnea   austin   Mark Brown   Texas   Legislation   Sleep   Dentistry   TSBDE  


There is a proposed rule change in front of the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) to allow dentists to primarily diagnose and treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea with a physician’s participation. As I state in the letter below, sent to the TSBDE, I am proud to collaborate with dentists in the care of my patients with Sleep Apnea.


“The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners is considering changes entitled “CHAPTER 108. PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT, SUBCHAPTER A. PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, 22 TAC §108.12” that is a misdirection in the care of Texas Sleep Apnea patients. As a board certified sleep physician, I am in a position to help patients make good decisions regarding their sleep health. I am proud to include dentists in that care. However, dentists are not qualified to be the primary caregivers diagnosing and treating Sleep Apnea. Dental education is not broad enough to make a dentist an expert in the medical complications of sleep apnea. They are able to provide a device, the Mandibular Advancement Device (or MAD), that has limited applicability in sleep apnea therapy. In the right patient the MAD is very beneficial. The number of “right patients” is a small percentage of the whole. My fear is that a dentist will see a morbidly obese patient, determine rightly that the patient has sleep apnea, apply their tool (the MAD) which inadequately treats the patient.. It only takes ONE patient premature death due to poorly treated Sleep Apnea to make this rule change a bad  idea.


Please do not pass this rule change. The right answer is to continue to work with the medical sleep community, collaborating to provide good care for patients with Sleep Apnea.”

Mark T. Brown, MD FACS 


Dr. Mark Brown is an Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist at Great Hills ENT in Austin, TX. Dr. Brown is Board Certified in both Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery as well as Sleep Medicine. Great Hills ENT serves the greater Austin area including Georgetown, Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Steiner Ranch, Lakeway, Spicewood and Point Venture. We are proud to provide excellent care to our patients for general Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) services, hearing loss, dizziness/vertigo and sleep disorders.