At True North Orthodontics, we believe that interdisciplinary care leads to the best outcomes for everyone in Calgary. An interdisciplinary approach involves working with a coordinated group of experts from several different fields who work together toward a common goal. That is why we work closely with many different teams, offices, and skilled practitioners to bring about the greatest possible results for all of the people we meet, none of which could be accomplished without an incredible focus on diagnostic skills and proper records. I am passionate that this is the single greatest benefit from a consultation in our office and I feel so strongly about this that we offer our diagnostic skills as a complimentary service to the community.
There is a constant push in the field of medicine to discover ways to screen and detect problems in the early stages. Small changes made over a long period of time can make a big difference so the hope is always to detect and initiate treatment as soon as reasonably possible when indicated. In my own research, I wanted to know if the 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) images from my Icat Flx machine (which has the lowest dose imaging available) were suitable for developing an airway screening protocol for children and adults in my office.
I employed a double-blind retrospective study where we analyzed the minimal cross-section areas, or area of greatest constriction of the upper airway, and the total airway volume using 3D mapping of 65 patients, including controls. The patients who were tested in this study were previously diagnosed by their physician by an overnight sleep study with moderate sleep apnea or confirmed as healthy controls via an at-home sleep test and a negative result health questionnaire.
From this research, I discovered that the minimal cross-section area in individuals with confirmed sleep apnea was LESS THAN HALF compared to those who did not have sleep apnea. Interestingly, these patients presented with a wide range of bites and dental crowding. As I have begun to study this in more detail I have come to appreciate what a powerful tool this is in our orthodontic office for being aware of and screening for airway problems while we continue learning even more. This information has helped me look at my patients with fresh eyes and discover for myself the difference than an orthodontic consultation can make.
Contact our team at True North Orthodontics in Calgary to experience our in-depth interdisciplinary approach to orthodontic treatment. This focus and strategy truly allow us to provide a full picture of health for our patients and provide more customized solutions! Experience the True North Difference today!
— Dr. Gage