Oral appliance network: UBC prof to chair international steering committee

April 15, 2012

Dr. Fernanda Almeida, assistant professor and a renowned dental sleep medicine researcher, was chosen to chair the steering committee for a revolutionary new initiative: the Oral Appliance Network for Global Effectiveness (ORANGE Registry). Almeida co-leads the initiative with Dr. Olivier Vanderveken, a physician and researcher from the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

The first international meeting of leading international researchers in the field of oral appliance therapy (OAT) took place in March 2012. Delegates at the meeting called for the establishment of a registry to compile long-term data, with an overall goal of gaining a better understanding of outcomes, side effects and effectiveness of OAT while detecting variations that may exist around the globe. OAT is a treatment option for sufferers of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea—a disease only identified in the 1970s, yet increasing around the world.

“Once the registry is established and disparate and complex data and cultural challenges are ironed out, and possibly after its first findings are published—all of which will take a few years—we hope that dentists who have an interest in research and OAT will contribute to the registry,”

Almeida says. To illustrate the importance of the registry—to be hosted at UBC—she cites Dr. B. Gail Demko, a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. Demko has pointed out that long-term data are required to determine the characteristics of patients who do or do not respond to OAT treatment.

Almeida brings a wealth of expertise to this project. Along with teaching, doing research and co-leading the Sleep Apnea Clinic at UBC with Dr. Alan Lowe, she has a private practice treating patients with sleep-related breathing disorders and works closely with the Faculty of Medicine’s Vancouver Sleep Disorders Clinic. Almeida is the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine 2011 recipient of the Pierre Robin Academic Award—one of the highest distinctions among peers—for her outstanding work in the field.

Other UBC people involved in the ORANGE Registry are Dr. Alan Lowe, professor and chair, Division of Orthodontics, and a pioneer in the field of dental sleep medicine, and Drs. Hiroko Tsuda and Satoru Tsuiki, former postdoctoral fellows at UBC’s Dental Sleep Medicine Group.

Orange Registry Group

Members of the Oral Appliance Network for Global Effectiveness (the ORANGE Registry) during their first meeting, hosted by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine at the national office in Darien, Illinois, in March 2012. Front row (L to R): Frederic Gagnadoux, MD (France), Hiroko Tsuda, DDS, PhD (Japan), Nelly Huynh, PhD (Canada), Fernanda Almeida, DDS, PhD (Canada), Bernard Fleury, MD (France), Marie Marklund, DDS, PhD (Sweden) and Sheri Katz, DDS (US). Back row (L to R): Dennis Hwang, MD (US), Gilles Lavigne, DMD, PhD (Canada), Jean Masse, DMD (Canada), Timothy Quinnell, MBBS (UK), Alan Lowe, DMD, PhD (Canada), Gail Demko, DMD (US), Olivier Vanderveken, MD, PhD (Belgium) and Clete Kushida, MD, PhD (US).