Global Solution to Global Problems: We Are Going Worldwide

Drs. Shibani Sahni and Leopoldo Correa are collaborating to bring knowledge of dental sleep to a global summit in dental sleep medicine this summer in Talloires, France. Read more about this enriching international opportunity.

 

by Shibani Sahni, BDS, PGD, MMSc, and Leopoldo P. Correa, BDS, MS, D.ABDSM

It is estimated that approximately 1 billion people around the globe suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The cummulative long-term effects of untreated sleep disorders have been associated with an extensive range of health consequences. Awareness of the global burden of OSA among the general public and health care professionals is needed.

Screening patients for OSA and other sleep disorders is important healthcare offered by dental professionals. Research and clinical practice in sleep is at the interface of many medical and scientific disciplines including dentistry. Dentists play an important role in managing OSA to reduce patient morbidity and mortality.

Aim

Dr. Sahni, Director of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning Department, and Dr. Correa, Director of Craniofacial Pain Center and Dental Sleep Programs at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, have joined hands in a collaborative effort for boosting awareness of dental sleep medicine through the globe. This cooperative work is aimed at amplifying education in somnology, sleep disorders, dental sleep medicine, and holistic patient care. By collaborating with universities and dental associations around the world, we can bring continuing education to where the need is. Dental sleep medicine is a fast growing field because of the global problem – universities need good programs to meet demand.

Methods

The enrichment opportunities would start from a global summit this summer where experts and outstanding faculty and clinicians in the field of dental sleep would meet at the Tufts European Center in Talloires, France to exchange ideas, engage in discussion, and embody collaborative principles of being curators of knowledge. Best practices will be shared along with the exchange of the latest research and clinical expertise in the field in different continents. This is also in line with the Tufts European Center’s summer academic programs in Talloires which are aimed to explore important issues while promoting international understanding and global citizenship.

As dental sleep medicine grows in its role as a critical part of therapy, we must embrace evidence-based practice. With the recent development of dental sleep medicine standards and the collaboration between academic institutions and professional associations, the practice and teaching of dental sleep medicine will continue to grow globally.

Significance and Future Direction

We will not restrict our efforts to just the global summit and effort this summer. The energy emanating from this global summit will carry forward and spread throughout the year in collaboration between organizations around the world. Online events have no borders.

This unique outreach will bring together experts, faculty members, and clinicians from different continents who are interested in solving, supporting, and innovating ways of exchanging information and research. Innovation brings energy and new ideas, and with these global efforts and advancements, we aim to assist in reducing the public health issues related to sleep deprivation and sleep disorders across the world.

If you can’t make it this year to the global summit in dental sleep medicine, take some time to explore the CE opportunities online at Dental Sleep Practice! https://dentalsleeppractice.com/continuing-education/

Shibani Sahni, BSD, Postgrad-Dip Restorative Dentistry, MMSc (Dental Education), is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Comprehensive Care and is the Program Director for Distance Education and Continuing Education/Lifelong Learning at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Sahni can be reached at Shibani.sahni@tufts.edu.

Leopoldo P. Correa, BDS, MS, D.ABDSM, FICD, is the Director of Tufts Craniofacial Pain Center and Dental Sleep Fellowship Program at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Correa can be reached at leopoldo.correa@tufts.edu.

  1. Benjafield, Adam V et al. “Estimation of the global prevalence and burden of obstructive sleep apnoea: a literature-based analysis.” The Lancet. Respiratory medicine vol. 7,8 (2019): 687-698. doi:10.1016/S2213-2600(19)30198-5
  2. Colten, H. R., Altevogt, B. M., & Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research (Eds.). (2006). Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. National Academies Press (US).
  3. Karimi N, Mehta N, Pagni SE, Antonellou E, Doherty EH, Correa LP. The current state of dental sleep medicine practice in academic institutions: A questionnaire-based study. J Dent Sleep Med. 2019;6(4)
  4. Saeed SG, Bain J, Khoo E, Siqueira WL. COVID-19: finding silver linings for dental education. J Dent Educ. 2020;84(10):1060-1063.
  5. Sahni S, Dragan IF. Harvard-Tufts Dental Education Collaborative: Stronger Together. Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2021 Oct; 42(9):546-547. PMID: 34555917.

 

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