Can I Offer Pain and Dental Sleep Medicine?

Beautiful woman lying and sleep on the snowy bedThe answer is, “Yes!” Of course you can offer pain and dental sleep medicine services in your practice. With the first step of deciding to offer these services out of the way, the most important steps are completing continuing education to ensure you can provide your patients with proper care, as well as how you can implement it into your dental practice. Let’s take a look:

Complete Continuing Education

After you have decided to offer dental sleep medicine in your practice, 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.

Market Yourself

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.

Communicate

One of the biggest mistakes in launching a new dental program is understanding the importance of language. 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.

Dental Sleep Medicine Resources for Dentists

Business AnalyticsJust like your patients need further education on sleep apnea and other areas of dental sleep medicine, and so do you.  As a dentist it is important to continue to further your education so that you are constantly up-to-date on important information. After all, you want to become an expert in your area of study and these dental sleep medicine resources can help you do just that. Below you can find three resources to help you continue to provide the services your patients need:

Nierman Practice Management

Since 1988, Nierman Practice Management has worked to help dentists’ offices become more productive. The availability of DentalWriter helps improve efficiency so there is less paperwork to complete, but more time to spend with the patient. Learn more about Nierman Practice Management, upcoming lectures and how you can improve your practice.

The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine

The AADSM was established in 1991 and is the only non-profit national professional society dedicated exclusively to the practice of dental sleep medicine. As a leading national organization for dentists who use oral appliance therapy to manage sleep disordered breathing, the AADSM continues to provide dentists with the resources they need to successfully implement dental sleep medicine in there practice.

American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine

The American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM) is an independent board of examiners that was established in 2004 for duly licensed dentists who treat sleep apnea related breathing disorders. They then evolved from and replaced the Certification Program of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. Dentists are encouraged to visit the ABDSM for more information and proper certification.

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel for more information on dental sleep medicine (DSM), and where you can turn to for up-to-date information so that you can continue to grow your practice.

What About Home Sleep Testing?

Beautiful woman lying and sleep on the snowy bedWhen it comes to getting your patients tested for sleep apnea, have you ever considered sleep testing at home? Many patients might find that to be a better option! Working with a sleep doctor can help you in the diagnosis of sleep apnea for your patients, while helping you to take the next step in treatment with oral appliance therapy. If your sleep doctor offers home sleep testing, your patients might be more inclined to seek diagnosis and treatment. Let’s take a look at home sleep testing vs. in office sleep testing.

Keep it in the Office

The first option for diagnosing a patient with sleep apnea is sleep testing through the sleep doctor’s facilities. By having your patients tested through the sleep doctor’s facilities, all the technology needed is available for them. This is the most often utilized way of sleep testing, but many patients are not always up for that. Typically, when testing for sleep apnea with sleep testing, your sleep doctor’s facilities will be a go-to place for your patient’s care—they want to be known for the go-to place for all forms of sleep testing.

At Home Sleep Studies

Recently, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association, Medicare has approved coverage for home sleep studies. As countless people pack an overnight bag have thought, “wouldn’t it be nice if I could just do this at home in my own bed?” Well, it looks like that is an option now.

In March, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services dropped its long standing opposition to home studies. A positive diagnosis for sleep apnea is established if:

  • The apnea-hypoapnea index as measured by the portable device is 15 or more. This means that a person experiences 15 apneas an hour.
  • The AHI is between 5 and 14, and the patient has documented symptoms of:
    • Daytime sleepiness
    • Impaired cognition
    • Mood disorders
    • Hypertension
    • Ischemic heart disease
    • History of stroke

Whether you think sleep studies should be performed in a facility or at home, it is important to contact your local sleep doctor to discuss the best ways for testing your patients for sleep apnea. As experts in sleep apnea, sleep doctors are available to help you during the diagnosis process so you can take the next step in proper treatment for you patients.

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel to learn more about sleep apnea and the relationship you can have with your sleep doctor. If you have worked with a sleep doctor before, what sleep study was preferred? Share your answers with us by leaving a comment!

The Dentist and Writer: A Perfect Match for Success

handshakeIt’s a team you might have never thought was possible: the dentist and the writer. While these professions are on two separate ends of the spectrum, they actually make quite the duo. Think about marketing. In order to gain new patients and get your name out there you need a marketing plan—a good one at that. With help from a writer, you can create a successful marketing campaign that includes social media management, blogging, and many other options.

Start Blogging

Whether you are beginning a general dentistry practice or a dental sleep medicine practice, start blogging! I understand that you are busy with seeing patients, but hiring a freelance writer can help eliminate the stress of needing to blog weekly. I currently use Sara Berg as my freelance writer—she has been writing for my office for two years now. Work with a writer you can trust and create topics that interest your office and patients. Start with the services you offer and then expand. Think about questions your patients frequently ask and start writing! Weekly blogs can help you reach your patients and develop a trusting relationship because it shows you are an expert in your field.

Be Social

You might already have Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram, but are you using it to your advantage? In addition to your personal social media channels, create ones for your practice. By doing so, your writer can keep your social network up-to-date with important information, while also sharing your blog posts each week. Share important articles, updates on your practice, photos and blog posts so your patients are constantly in-the-know for important information. The number of times you should be posting varies from each network and how often you want your patients to be updated. Try for at least once a week and increase posting with each special message you want to share. A partnership with a freelance writer eliminates the need for you to post every week. The writer will update the social media channels for you with blogs and other informative updates. Share important information with the writer as it comes up.

Market, Market, Market

Marketing is vital for a successful practice—how else will you reach current and new patients? Marketing covers all other areas for your practice. From website content creation to articles, newsletters and emails, a 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!

Even more important is your website. A website will allow your practice to be easily searchable on the Internet, so 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.

Become an expert in your field not only at your practice, but throughout the Internet as well. Working with a writer can help you reach your patients and other doctors, as well—it takes the stress off of you and allows you to have creative, up-to-date content for easy access in all areas.