Here’s What We Know about the World Sleep Congress 2022 Conference

December 1, 2021

Each year, the World Sleep Society hosts a worldwide conference to bring together the best in sleep medicine and scientific research. The World Sleep Congress, now in its 16th iteration, gathers together top minds, industry professionals, and leadership from around the world for many days of scientific sessions, networking, and overall advancement in the field of sleep studies. Due to the lockdowns and restrictions on travel during the global pandemic, the conference was canceled in 2021 but is returning in 2022, bigger and better than ever before, to make waves in sleep medicine.

In 2019, individuals from 77 countries attended the conference in Vancouver, Canada. The highest concentration of individuals was from the United States, Canada, France, Australia, and Japan. In 2022, the conference is expected to have an even better turnout. Leadership from the World Sleep Society has decided to hold the conference from Friday, March 11, through Wednesday, March 16, in Rome, Italy; the Italian Association of Sleep Medicine is incredibly proud to host.

Interested in attending an event discussing the advancing field of sleep studies and how you can integrate sleep and airway into your dental practice? Here’s what we know about the World Sleep Congress 2022 Conference.

Where

The World Sleep Congress had previously selected the Brazil Association of Sleep Medicine to host the World Sleep Congress 2022 Conference and the Italian Association of Sleep Medicine to host in 2023. However, due to Italy’s convenient and central location to the rest of the world, the decision was made to switch the following two events.

Regarding the decision to switch locations and postpone the event until March of 2022, World Sleep Society Executive Director Allan O’Bryan shares

We anticipate travel in 2021 will be limited—even in the event of a COVID-19 vaccine, due to budget and post-COVID19 [sic] institutional travel policies. Therefore, we decided to postpone the 2021 congress for six months to March 2022, to allow more time for economic recovery and safe travel. Additionally, a switch from Brazil to Italy will allow our members to attend World Sleep at a more easily accessible location.

What

Industry experts, enthusiasts, and professionals worldwide attend the World Sleep Congress Conference to learn about recent advances in sleep medicine, including up-to-date clinical and research techniques. Professionals may or may not have a previous interest in sleep medicine, often serving their community as healthcare providers, researchers, or administrators. Additionally, as dentistry expands its study to include the airway, more dental professionals are expected to attend as they seek to broaden their practice to include their newfound knowledge and skill set.

Why

Nearly one billion adults worldwide suffer from some form of sleep apnea—and many of them don’t even realize it. In fact, over 80 percent of sufferers remain undiagnosed and untreated—and therefore left to question why they experience constant fatigue, memory lag, and exhaustion. The solution to this gap in healthcare is dentists.

Why? Dentists are on the front lines for diagnosing and treating sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). They have the best skillset to identify key orofacial abnormalities and discuss assessment and treatment options with their patients. By initiating an open line of communication and discussing findings with fellow providers, dentists can effectively address the SDB epidemic.

How

Coincidentally, there is a specific focus within the field on the rise called airway dentistry. Airway dentistry is a new and growing field focused on the mouth’s structure and how that impacts your breathing. Specialists examine their patients for SDB by looking for signs of mouth breathing, such as a high palate, crowding of the teeth, a scalloped tongue, narrow jaw, degradation of the enamel, and more. Their goal is to catch these signs early, effectively treat the symptoms, and set their patients on the path to a happier and healthier life.

That said, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to SDB. That is why it is essential to have a dentist who understands the importance of the airway and sleep and how these fields of study directly correlate with an individual’s oral health.

At the start of the century, treatment options were scarce. However, thanks to innovative thinkers and leaders, we now have access to a host of choices for SDB. Some of the options include the following:

  • The Vivos Method (nonsurgical, personalized oral appliance therapy)
  • Mandibular advancement
  • CPAP, APAP, and BiPAP therapies
  • Surgical intervention or implants
  • Treatment for associated medical problems
  • Surgery (tissue removal or shrinkage, jaw repositioning, implants, or tracheostomy)
  • Lifestyle modification

The World Sleep Congress 2022 Conference is a must-attend event. It is a critical time in sleep studies and essential for dental professionals to adopt this as an extension to their preexisting knowledge of the oral cavity. With airway, sleep, and dentistry in their tool kit, individuals can become more effective providers and save their patients’ lives. For more information on how to get involved or attend, please visit worldsleepcongress.com.