While Dentistry Saves Teeth, Sleep Dentistry Saves Lives!

Senior woman in the dental office.Did you know that dentistry not only saves teeth, but it saves lives too? I hope so. If you are reading this, you may already know that not only does your role as a Dentist save patients’ teeth, but it can potentially save lives as well! It’s a great role to be in and it continues to grow and advance every year—take advantage of that! Let’s take a closer look at how you can not only help save teeth, but potentially save lives, too.

What do you mean?

As a dentist, not only can you help protect your patients’ teeth, but you can also help in the relation of sleep dentistry. One of the most serious health concerns in our society today is the presence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The majority of patients with OSA have two main characteristics: loud snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness. While the diagnosis of OSA can only be made by a medical practitioner such as a sleep specialist or ENT specialist, you can still be the one to notice the first signs to recommend seeking diagnosis.

What are the facts?

Sleep apnea occurs when the tongue falls back and blocks the airway for 10 seconds or longer. Some patients may even stop breathing hundreds of times each night, which can be extremely detrimental to their overall health. Some facts that health care professionals need to be aware of include the co-morbidity correlations with obstructive sleep apnea:

  • Hypertension
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Diabetes
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Renal disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Nocturnal strokes

There appears to also be a high correlation between patients who have GERD (gastroesophageal reflex) and OSA. With so many conditions, it is important to understand OSA and how you can recognize signs and symptoms before your patient or their doctor might. The earlier OSA is recognized, the better equipped we are for treatment.

As a dentist, you hold a unique position because you see your patients twice a year. By understanding Obstructive Sleep Apnea and its symptoms, you may be able to recognize OSA in your patients before they do. By recognizing symptoms, you can recommend they visit their doctor for proper diagnosis. From there, you can provide your patients with effective treatment to potentially save their lives in the long run.

3 Ways to Reach Out to Your Medical Community

Business AnalyticsWe have touched base on this briefly, but let’s take another look at your medical community. As a dentist providing care for patients suffering from sleep apnea, it is important to create a working relationship with the medical professionals in your community. Through the help of family doctors, ENTs, sleep physicians and other doctors, you can continue to provide your patients with superior care.

Send a Letter

One way to inform medical professionals of your practice’s commitment to Dental Sleep Medicine is to create a letter. Through an information-rich letter or newsletter, you can inform the medical professionals in your community of the availability of your services. This letter should be educational in nature so that other medical professionals can better understand what services your practice offers and the importance of creating a working relationship.

When piecing together your letter to send, remember to include the following:

  • Your name and practice
  • Services offered
  • What is Dental Sleep Medicine?
  • Available treatment options
  • How you need their help in diagnosis and treatment

By including all of this information, you can be better prepared to inform each medical professional in your area to take the next step toward a working relationship.

Visit Offices

An extremely important and beneficial option is for you to visit the offices of those medical professionals you wish to work with. When visiting their practice, talk to their office manager and referral manager, as well as the doctor. By introducing yourself to each member, you can make a lasting impression when it comes to treating patients. What I like to do is set up a luncheon. I will bring lunch for the doctor and their team so that I can get to know each member while also informing them of what it is that I do for my patients in the area of dental sleep medicine. Through this, dentists can showcase their strengths and their dedication to their patients.

Create a Marketing Campaign

Another important step is your marketing plan. This can include the following:

  • Educational website
  • Information-rich blog
  • Press Releases
  • Newsletters

By properly marketing your practice, you cannot only reach your patients, but you can reach other medical professionals as well. Within each avenue, be sure to include up-to-date information on dental sleep medicine, signs of sleep apnea, and how you can treat patients who suffer from sleep apnea.

The more information you can supply your patients and the medical professionals in the community, the better. Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel for more information on how you can create a working relationship with the medical professionals in your community.

Establish a Marketing Strategy for Your Office

Developing a marketing strategy is vital for any business, especially your dental office. Without a proper marketing plan, your efforts to attract new patients are likely to be haphazard and inefficient. We’ve touched base on marketing before, but let’s take a closer look at what you need to do to create an effective marketing strategy. When creating your marketing plan, your focus should be on making sure that your products and services meet your patients’ needs and developing long-term and profitable relationships with those patients. Here is a list of 5 dental office marketing ideas you might want to consider.

Email Weekly Dental TipsBusiness Analytics

One thing you can do to better market your office is to create a mailing list. By acquiring your patients’ emails, you can easily send them updates on your office, specials and important information regarding their care. A suggested topic for emails is weekly dental tips. As a practice that is establishing their role in dental sleep medicine, you might benefit by sending out weekly emails to your patients that targets the importance of getting treated for sleep apnea. Some information might include:

  • What is sleep apnea?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • What treatment options are available?
  • How can my dentist help me?

The questions and tips that you can include are limitless. Use your creativity to brainstorm important ideas that your patients should know when it comes to dental sleep medicine. Through email marketing you can further reach your patients because majority of patients check their emails multiple times a day.

Utilize Keywords

When you are writing your website content or blog posts, be sure to include keywords within your pages. However, do not overdo it with the keywords. You want to include 2-3 per page just to get your practice out there. If you overload your content with keywords, Google will pick this up and “spam.” The keywords will show up for certain items to reach interested patients.

Use Social Media

We have mentioned it before, and we will mention it again-social media is key. Use Facebook or Twitter to post fun dental sleep medicine facts to patients. When patients see these “fun facts” they will be more prone to share with their friends. You want to not only reach your patients through social media channels, but you also want to engage them. Without engagement, your patients will simply browse over the information without really paying attention. If you provide accurate and thoughtful information, they may be more inclined to share it with their friends—especially if that information reminds them of a friend or loved one.

Create Blog Posts

Another important marketing factor is creating blog posts, which he have also focused on in previous blog posts. Blog posts are an extension of your website and another way to get content that is searchable through Google. While writing your blog posts, be sure to include keywords so that your blog post comes up when a patient is looking for specific information. You can utilize your blog to share educational or office information—the choice is yours.

Send a Press Release

Lastly, try sending a press release once a month. Remember, though, that a press release should be “news worthy,” which means it needs to announce something. Whether you have won an award, are offering a new procedure or technology, or have moved locations all can be news worthy topics you can share through a press release. Send a press release to local media to notify the public about your news worthy information or utilize an online distribution database to send your information through the Internet. Either way, press releases help to generate outside links back to your website for improved search results.

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel for more information on how you can successfully market your dental office for 2015.

Why Should I Treat Craniofacial Pain in My Office?

woman-painDentistry is about more than just teeth and gums—it has to do with not only treating oral health, but overall health as well. For that reason, I want you to begin to contemplate offering craniofacial pain services in your office. By offer craniofacial pain services in your practice, you are creating more opportunity for yourself and your team to help treat patients and improve their overall quality of life.

Tell Me More…

Well, craniofacial pain can often be a difficult subject because most dentists receive very little education and exposure to treating patients with these conditions. I understand how important it is to continue to improve your education and understanding of the dental field—I complete continuing courses yearly, too. By advancing your understanding of craniofacial pain, you can better understand how beneficial it is for patients when they visit your dental office.

Continuing Education

I, personally, have received extensive training in treating craniofacial pain and am available to work with other dentists to provide proper training so that you can provide craniofacial pain diagnosis and treatment at your dental office. I received my Certificate in Fundamentals of Diagnosis and Treatment of TMD and CFP from the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain. I also received Fellowship from the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain (FAACP) and Diplomate of the American Board of Craniofacial Pain (DABCP).

To continue your education in the area of craniofacial pain, I suggest visiting my Lectures page to view upcoming dates. By attending these lectures, you can continue to improve the services you offer at your dental practice! Because this pain is not new, it is important to understand where it is coming from and how to properly treat it. As a dentist you are the first line of defense for patients suffering from craniofacial pain—there is a growing realization that a common cause of pain is through a bad bite. By attending some of my upcoming lectures, you can learn about your role in the diagnosis and treatment of craniofacial pain.

If you have any questions about craniofacial pain, please contact me. Take the next step toward relieving your patients’ pain. I look forward to working with each of you in expanding your dental practice with craniofacial pain services!