Aphasia, Stroke and Sleep Apnea

The month of June was set aside as National Aphasia Awareness Month, which means making sure your patients are staying on top of their health by treating sleep apnea and other symptoms in prevention of stroke. As you are aware, stroke is the number five cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. A stroke can have a variety of communication effects, one of which is aphasia. Stroke is the most common cause of aphasia, which is a language disorder that affects the ability to communicate.

Raise Awareness for Aphasia

With June at an end, we can still continue to raise awareness for both stroke and aphasia. June was set as National Aphasia Awareness Month to help increase public education around this language disorder and to recognize the numerous people who are currently living with or caring for people with aphasia. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association continues to increase awareness for aphasia by sharing communication tips, the effects of having aphasia, assistive devices for those with aphasia and more.

A Connection with Sleep Apnea

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. But what you may not realize is that sleep apnea can lead to heart attacks, which can cause people to die in the middle of the night due to low oxygen or the stress of waking up frequently during sleep.

As stated previously, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, while stroke takes fourth place for the cause of death and leading cause of disability with high blood pressure being a major risk in both conditions. The relationship between sleep apnea, hypertension, stroke and heart disease is very strong, which makes it vital that everyone understand this connection as to further prevent the development of aphasia as well.

Sleep apnea can be easily treated to prevent stroke, aphasia and other comorbidities, which is why it is more important than ever to receive continuing education to further improve your patients’ well-being and health.
Every time you provide your patients with up-to-date health care, you are taking preventative steps, but we still have a ways to go and we need your help! Get started today by educating your patients on the risks of untreated sleep apnea, stroke and aphasia. I know June is over, but it is never too late to educate your patients.

Say “Yes” to Dental Sleep Medicine Services

Now is the time to say, “Yes!” to offering dental sleep medicine services in your practice. With a constantly changing you want to find ways to stand out from your competition. The first step is deciding to offer these services, so you’re doing well so far! Next you will need to complete continuing education to ensure you are able to provide your patients with proper care, as well as how to implement these services within your dental practice. Here’s some more information about your next steps for implementing dental sleep medicine into your dental practice:  

Continuing Education Courses and Seminars

Once you have made the decision to offer dental sleep medicine services, it is important to start your education. By completing continuing education in the area of dental sleep medicine you can establish a practice that offers the best care possible. Just as you completed dental school, you will need to the same with dental sleep medicine. Go to lectures and seminars. Complete a shadowing of an experienced dental sleep medicine dentist. No matter what, you are getting the experience and knowledge you need to provide superior care for your patients.

Create a Marketing Strategy

We’ve said it before, but it cannot be said enough—market yourself and your practice. Understanding your competitive marketplace is critical when developing a new offering or expanding a service line. Do your diligence by asking the following questions:

  • How large is the market?
  • How accessible are these patients?
  • How will sleep competitors respond to this new service?
  • Are there opportunities to collaborate?

These are all important questions that work to help improve your dental sleep medicine practice. Once you create an effective marketing campaign you can reach current and future patients.

Keep an Open Line of Communication

By integrating dental sleep medicine into your practice, it requires new behaviors and ways of adapting—especially through the words you use. Pay close attention to how you describe your service. Using the wrong words can deter patients away from your office and those new services, so make sure you word your content appropriately. Everyone in your office should have a solid understanding of what dental sleep medicine is, who can benefit, how it works, and why it is so important. And, with that comes being fluent in dental sleep medicine so that everyone can describe it to patients without hesitation.

The future of dental sleep medicine is a bright one. With numerous opportunities to provide value through improved patient care, your options are endless, so take charge as soon as possible. Remember, anything is possible and if you put your mind and energy into this, your practice has the opportunity to be extremely successful.

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel for more information on Dental Sleep Medicine and the next steps you should take to offer these services to your current and future patients.

Create a Working Partnership with a Content Writer

I’ve mentioned it previously, but it is time to revisit the partnership between a dentist and a content writer. With such a vast understanding of everything, a writer can significantly improve your practice’s marketing efforts and all without breaking your budget. A writer is a multifaceted job, which means he or she can help out in a variety of areas. From in-office educational materials to repeat blog posts and social media management, a content writer is your go-to person for all of your marketing needs. Let’s take a look at some of the services a content writer/creator can provide you and your office:

An Educational Blog

From day one in the dental field to a more advanced position within dental sleep medicine and craniofacial pain, you will be busy seeing patients. So where do you find time to blog? You don’t have to! When you create a working partnership with a content writer you are taking that extra work off of your plate. I have been working with my writer, Sara Berg, for more than 3 years now and it takes a lot of work off of my plate when it comes to my marketing and website. Plus, if I need a new topic or something new written, she’s right there ready to help—it’s such a relief.

Make sure you work with a write you can trust and create topics that interest your office and patients. Start with the services you offer and then branch out and expand on those topics—there are endless opportunities to write about. Weekly blogs can help you reach your patients and develop a trusting relationship because it shows you are an expert in your field. And, if you need a writer you can trust, I highly recommend Sara—I can share her writing skills to help out!

An Active Social Network

It’s one thing to have a personal Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Instagram, but what about for your practice? And, if you already have one for your practice, are you utilizing it to your best ability? When you have a profile for your practice on each social channel you can let your content writer take the reigns. A writer will help share important articles, updates on your practice, photos, and blog posts so your patients are constantly in-the-know with important information. If you want to, you can even have your content writer respond to patients as needed—that saves even more time. But remember to always share important information with the writer as it comes up, so they can always be up-to-date with your office since they are not in it.

An Effective Marketing Strategy

From website content creation to newsletters, blogs and emails, a content writer can help you create each document. Send monthly newsletters to keep your patients up-to-date because, with a writer, you can more effectively create shareable information. Talk to your writer about information that should be included in a newsletter and you can get to sharing!

However, what is even more important for your marketing strategy is your website. The availability of a website will allow your practice to be searchable on the Internet. Remember to include accurate educational information about each of the services you have to offer at your practice. This is also where you will find your blog. Working with a writer will help you to create professional and educational content that your patients, and even other doctors, will want to read.

Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and hire a writer to help you tackle your marketing strategy—I’ll even share my writer’s information for you. A working partnership with a content writer will help you to reach your patients and other doctors while taking the stress off of you and allowing you to have creative, up-to-date content for instant and easy access for your patients.

For further information on marketing services, please contact Sara Berg at SaraAnneBerg@gmail.com or (630) 272-0423 and tell her Dr. Patel sent you!

Infographic: Untreated Sleep Apnea Has Negative Effects on Patients

When sleep apnea goes untreated it can be extremely dangerous for our patients. Just as with other health conditions, untreated sleep apnea can lead to a variety of comorbidities and health complications. From an increased risk of cardiovascular disease to diabetes, the negative effects of sleep apnea are nothing to be ignored. To help your patients gain a better understanding, here are a few of the negative effects associated with untreated sleep apnea:

Negative Effects of Sleep Apnea_Infographic_Dentists

By gaining a better understanding of the negative effects of untreated sleep apnea, we can continue to improve the services we provide our patients. And, the more they know, the better prepared they are to tackle their symptoms and seek proper treatment from your office.

As you can see in the above infographic, more than 12 million people are currently suffering from sleep apnea. However, there are millions who don’t seek treatment for their symptoms because they simply believe they just didn’t get enough sleep. Through continuing education you can improve the services you offer your patients while providing a service majority of Dentists don’t currently offer.

Take the next step toward setting your practice apart from your competition by attending an upcoming lecture. And, as always, please contact my office for more information–I am always available to answer questions and provide guidance along the way!