Dr. Perez grew up in Columbus Ohio while her parents were studying at the Ohio Sate University. She received her dental degree (DDS) from the University of Concepcion, Chile, in 1998. She completed a certificate program in Pediatric Dentistry in 2000 before entering her residency program in Pediatric Dentistry which she completed in 2002. She then completed a certificate program in Pathophysiology of Temporomandibular Disorders in Children 2006 before moving to Kentucky where she completed a residency program/Master’s degree in Orofacial pain 2011. Dr. Perez has obtained board certification in both Pediatric Dentistry and Orofacial Pain making her one of the few dually trained and dually board certified. In 2011, Dr. Perez joined the University of Kentucky, College of Dentistry as assistant professor in the division of Pediatric Dentistry where she practices and teaches pediatric dental residents as well as Orofacial pain residents. She created a unique Adolescent TMD clinic at the University of Kentucky that has flourished since 2015. She is currently the Pediatric Dentistry residency program director and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Kentukcy. Her current areas of interest are, TMD and OSA in children and adolescents.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children involves prolonged partial obstruction and/or intermittent complete obstruction of the airway that disrupts normal ventilation during sleep as well as normal sleep patterns. OSA is currently considered a public health concern due to its increasing incidence in the pediatric population. Similar to adults OSA has important consequences to the cardiovascular, metabolic and central nervous systems, however these consequences are highlighted in organisms that have not completed their development. OSA in children is produced by a discrepancy between neuromuscular tone of the airway and the load it is intended to hold. In children the most important factors associated to the development of OSA are adenotonsillar hypertrophy and obesity. A full-night polysomnography is the gold standard for obtaining a definitive diagnosis of OSA in children, although, a clinical examination as well as a thorough history taking from a dental professional can be of great value. Treatment of OSA in children usually falls under the care of physicians, nevertheless mandibular advancement devices and maxillary expansion appliances provided by dental specialists can play a crucial role in the treatment and management of this condition.
• Understand the consequences of OSA in children and why these are more relevant than in adults.
• Describe the treatment modalities for OSA in children and the role the Dental professional can play.
• Identify the factors related to the development in OSA in children.