Reggie White and Sleep Apnea

I want to take a moment to discuss Reggie White, who was a professional football player for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers. As you may already know, just weeks after his 43rd birthday, Reggie White unexpectedly died. In the news reports, the potential danger of obstructive sleep apnea and related breathing disorders was highlighted.

While Reggie White was diagnosed as apnetic, he was CPAP non-compliant. As a result, he did not complete treatment because he was unaware there was another option available–oral appliances. His wife said that if Reggie White had known about oral appliance therapy, he would have worn it.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

As you know, OSA affects about 2% to 4% of the U.S. population, and is associated with:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Hypertension
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Arrhythmias

Characterized by brief periods of interrupted breathing during sleep, OSA typically lasts 10 to 30 seconds, recurring at a rate of 400 times a night (WOW!).

Sleep Apnea and Reggie White

Reggie White might have been one of those individuals who experienced a cardiac arrhythmia leading to his sudden death in his sleep. When someone has untreated sleep apnea, they are at a significant risk of developing one of the many complications of sleep apnea. While CPAP was prescribed for Reggie White, he did not wear it because at least 50% of individuals with CPAP fail to wear the device for a variety of reasons. While Reggie was prescribed it, he was not CPAP compliant and did not know of any other option.
For this reason, we need to continue to educate our patients so they know there are other alternatives. No one has to die prematurely–there’s a treatment option out there for them.

Proper Implementation of Social Media in Dentistry

Do you have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or another social media channel? Are you actively utilizing your platform? If you have answered no to either, or both, it is time to get your office in gear with social networking–and I don’t mean just sharing GIFs. An active social network allows you to reach your patients and even medical professionals with important information any time of the day. Whether you are sharing blog posts or office information, it is important to maintain your social presence in order to remain the go-to place for your patients.

Start Posting Now

If you haven’t posted anything on your social media channels in a while, now is the time to get that going. And, with your posts, be sure to pay attention to when you are posting. While the first couple times might be trial and error, you will soon figure out the times your patients are active on social media by the interaction on each post–pay attention to that. Try in the morning because most people tend to check their social media upon waking in the morning. Another good time is either at lunch or after work.

Share Better Not More

What are you sharing? Can your patients relate? Are you posting non-stop? If you are posting several times day everyday–STOP. The more often you post, the more patients might “unlike” or “unfollow” your page if they can’t relate. Stick to a couple times a week, once a day, and make sure to post interesting information they will want to read and share.

You can help educate your patients by doing the following:

  • Answering questions
  • Providing resources
  • Sharing images
  • Giving tips

Let your patients know that you are available and are listening. Contact my office if you have any further questions about how to better utilize social media, or contact Sara Berg (she helps me manage my social channels).

Bring Your Hygienist with to Your Next Seminar

Think of this scenario: you (the dentist) just got back from a great seminar in let’s say Las Vegas. You’re so pumped up and excited to get to work, but what about your staff? While you can try your hardest to bring the enthusiasm to your office, it’s just not the same. So, who spends the most time and has a better rapport with patients? Hygienists do! For your next seminar series think about bringing your hygienist next time. Together you can be excited and better understand the roles associated with Dental Sleep Medicine, Craniofacial Pain and other advanced areas of dentistry.

The Hygienist’s Role

In the last 10 years, dentists and hygienists have become more involved in the treatment of sleep apnea, craniofacial pain, TMD, and other advanced areas of dentistry. Since patients visit their dentist more often than they visit their family doctor, a dental hygienist plays a critical role in screening patients for these advanced areas of dentistry.

From sleep breathing disorders to craniofacial pain, a hygienist can ask the appropriate questions each time a patient visits your office. And, if your hygienists don’t know what to look out for, then how can they ask the right questions to help you provide the right treatment? They can’t unless they accompany you to lectures and seminars throughout the year. By remaining up-to-date, your hygienist can work with you each step of the way.

A dental hygienist can play a vital role in your dental office if you provide them with appropriate education. Whether it is with you at a seminar, or on their own, continuing education for not only yourself, but your hygienist, too, is key.

Dentists and their hygienists work hand-in-hand for the treatment of sleep apnea, craniofacial pain, TMD, and other conditions. Start today by signing your hygienist up for a future seminar–both with you and on their own. If you have any questions about how to incorporate this teamwork into advanced areas of dentistry, such as dental sleep medicine and craniofacial pain, please contact me.

 

The Sleep Apnea Device Market has a Bright Future

I have some exciting news to share! The sleep apnea device market has a bright future and that’s great news for us dentists! So, what’s the outlook? Well, by 2020 it is estimated to reach a worth of about $5.3 billion. In the report “Sleep Apnea Devices Market by Product, Diagnostic (PSG, Pulse Oximeter), Therapeutic [CPAP, APAP, BPAP, Masks (Full Face Mask), Oral Appliances (Mandibular Advancement Device)], End User (Home Care Settings, Hospitals) – Analysis & Global Forecasts to 2020”, the major market drivers, restraints/challenges, and opportunities were analyzed and studied.

In the report, as presented by marketsandmarkets.com, the global sleep apnea devices market is studied for the forecast period of 2015-2020. As of 2015, the market was at $3.7 billion, but by 2020, the market is expected to reach $5.3 billion at a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period. With 2015 being the highest growth of the market, we will continue to see a growth spurt at the highest rate yet.

A Look at the Forecast

The regions for this study included the following areas:

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • The Rest of the World (Latin America, Central America, and Africa)

We saw North America with the largest share in the sleep apnea market in 2015, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific. However, the European market has projections to grow at the highest CAGR rate during the target between now and 2020.

ResMed, a major player in the market, continues to observe a strong focus on innovation. Through such a rich pipeline of innovative products in the market opens up so many opportunities for treatment of sleep apnea.

Remain ahead of the game by providing the best treatment options for sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy. Together we can help our patients get a better night’s sleep. To learn more about sleep apnea and available treatment options, visit www.mpateldds.com. You can also view upcoming lectures to help you continue to learn more about this growing industry.