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The role of the dental team in the management of the patient with sleep apnea

Nancy Costa-Larson, RDH, BS, MHA

, Release date: Monday, October 15, 2012, Expiration date: Thursday, October 15, 2015

CE Article



The evolution of the dental hygienist’s role in the assessment of a client’s oral health from a singular approach to a collaborative multidisciplinary approach is evident in the treatment of clients with sleep disorders.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this course, clinician will be able to:

  • Define the different types of sleep apnea
  • Provide information to help dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants in assessing patients who have sleep apnea.
  • Identify different types of sleep apnea and the different types of devices used to help patients with sleep apnea.
  • Explain signs and symptoms of sleep apnea affecting the oral cavity as well as overall health for the patient.
  • Understand the need to collaborate with medical community and oral surgeons for patient treatment of sleep apnea disorders.

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Nancy Costa-Larson, RDH, BS, MHA


Nancy Costa-Larson, RDH, BS, MHA, has worked in the dental field for 20-plus years as well as the medical community for three years. She works as an active clinician and assistant clinical director in a non-profit clinic in Birmingham, Ala., working with student from the University of Alabama Dental School providing dental treatments to the uninsured community in the area. Costa-Larson was a delegate in the Massachusetts Hygiene Association Board. She received an Associate in Science in hygiene at the Springfield Community College, a Bachelor of Science in business at the University of Phoenix, Tampa, and a Master’s in healthcare administration from Argosy University in Florida.

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