Dr. Sue Ellen Richardson became interested in the science of dental sleep medicine after sleep apnea disturbances caused her mother to fall out of bed, cracking one of her vertebrae. Her mother proved to be CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) intolerant. After intense research on sleep apnea and its treatments, Dr. Richardson fabricated an oral appliance that allowed her mother to sleep safely and restfully. Dr. Richardson was grateful that her own field of expertise, dentistry, could provide her mother help and eliminate the significant dangers associated with her mother’s untreated condition. Later, Dr. Richardson accepted as a patient a young married woman whose snoring kept her husband awake and forced her to sleep on a couch. Dr. Richardson fabricated an appliance that reduced her snoring to the point that she could return to sharing a bed quietly with her husband; her loud snoring no longer kept him awake.
These experiences proved so successful that Dr. Richardson started to treat more and more patients and soon realized what a valuable option Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) was to her patients.
In 2009, Dr. Richardson joined the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and received Diplomate status in 2013. She is also a Fellow in The American Academy of Craniofacial Pain.
Dr. Richardson follows the recommended guidelines for treatment with intra-oral appliances in Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and snoring management. Before recommending a specific brand of appliance to a patient, Dr. Richardson has actually first tried the appliance on herself. Dr. Richardson only works with FDA-approved appliances for the treatment of snoring and OSA. Other types do exist, but can be limiting. At present, Dr. Richardson prefers to work with several types of adjustable appliances, choice of which is dependent on many patient factors.
Dr. Richardson is devoted to the well-being of her patients and communication with referring members of the medical and dental fields. Her commitment to offering patients an option to treat their OSA and snoring is saving lives and marriages every day. Dr. Richardson is following the disturbing new evidence of a correlation between obesity and sleep disorders.
Dr. Richardson has presented to the Texas Society of Sleep Professionals, the Houston City Wide Sleep Conference, the Greater Houston Dental Society, and to many sleep physicians and sleep labratories.
Dr. Richardson has been featured in Time Magazine, and chosen as one of H Magazine's Top Dentists of 2018, Houstonia Top Dentists of 2018, and Texas Monthly’s Super Dentists of 2018, and has been winning these accolades for years. She completed her undergraduate studies at Rice University. She went on to study dentistry at the University of Texas Dental School at Houston and graduated in 1980. The Academy of General Dentistry honored her with a Mastership for her completion of its rigorous comprehensive broad post doctorate education.
Some of her notable mentions and associations include:
She has traveled the country and spent hundreds of hours in seminars, study clubs and other continuing education courses in order to stay current on advances in the field. As a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Richardson is able to help diagnose and treat both snoring and sleep apnea. Whether it is "just snoring" that is disturbing a bed partner, or the more dangerous Obstructive Sleep Apnea, that puts you at higher risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes, Dr. Richardson can treat these situations with the use of a customized oral appliance.