3 dental sleep medicine courses to start 2019 with

As with every New Year, we always want to start with our best foot forward. I know it is only November, but now is the time to get started on your preparation for 2019. If you start now, you can get the best deals on airfare (if needed) and hotels.

Here are three dental sleep medicine courses to attend in the first couple months of 2019.

January 25-26 in Jupiter, Florida. The topic is TMJ for the Dental Sleep Medicine Practice. In this lecture we will take a look at the connection between TMD and sleep apnea. With 36 states now mandating TMD coverage in health care plans, it is important to understand how to incorporate these services into your practice. A dental professional is the primary care provider for TMJ dysfunction because they are capable of significantly improving the quality of life and overall health of these patients. And in the realm of dental sleep medicine, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine practice parameters for OSA put the responsibility clearly on dentists to catch and treat TMD problems in sleep apnea patient follow-up exams. Sign up for this course to gain step-by-step guidance on identifying, diagnosing and implementing TMD treatment.

February 8-9 in Atlanta, Georgia. If you have not already attending the first three sessions, this might not be for you. However, it is a great sleep and pain mini residency. Session 4 is the last of this mini-residency 2. The program is designed to give dental practices the knowledge and guidance to fully incorporate obstructive sleep apnea treatment into their practice. It also aims to help dentists overcome obstacles in order to grow and flourish in dental sleep medicine.

March 8-9 in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the third installment of the Sleep and Pain Mini Residency. If you weren’t able to sign up for the previous sessions, now is the time to sign up for session one! This is a 4-part, 64 CE credit program led by Dr. Mayoor Patel and Dr. Terry Bennett. By attending this mini-residency series you will learn about dental sleep medicine with an emphasis on hands-on and practical learning. Dentists will gain the skills and confidence they need to incorporate sleep apnea treatment into their practice successfully.

To learn more about upcoming lectures, please visit http://mpateldds.com/upcoming-lecture/. I look forward to seeing you an an upcoming lecture or mini-residency!

Dental sleep medicine mini-residencies: Prepare for 2019

To help you better serve your patients and provide advanced care in your dental office, mini-residencies might be just what you need. For 2019, make the most of your year by signing up for dental sleep medicine mini-residencies. These residency series are a 4-part, 64 CE credit programs that provide a completely comprehensive educational experience for implementing dental sleep medicine in your dental practice.

Mini-residency overview

These sessions are taught by leading educators in dental sleep medicine, Mayoor Patel, DDS, MS, and Terry Bennett, DMD. Each course will emphasize hands-on and practice learning. Dentists who attend these sessions will gain the skills and confidence you need to incorporate sleep apnea treatment into practice successfully.

Dentists will receive two sleep apnea oral appliances and will go through the entire experience of examination, impression and bite registrations, appliance delivery and fitting, and follow-up/calibration exams. There is also an opportunity to shadow an American Academy of Sleep Medicine accredited sleep lab throughout the program.

After each session dentists will be given homework assignments to complete, but don’t worry, these won’t be too hard. The assignments will include literature to read and cases to prepare. Team members will also be given tasks to work on, including communication scripts and physician outreach goals.

At the end of the fourth session, each dental practice should feel confident in their ability to:

  • Treat obstructive sleep apnea patients.
  • Have referral networks in place.
  • Medical insurance reimbursement implemented.
  • Ready for various dental sleep medicine accreditation programs.

Sign up for our dental sleep medicine mini-residency programs in 2019. We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming lecture!

Treating sleep apnea may improve stroke outcomes

If treatment of sleep apnea occurs immediately after a stroke or mini-stroke, new research shows that it may improve patients’ neurological symptoms and daily functioning. More than 20 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea, which has been linked with increased risk for heart attack, hypertension, sudden death, stroke and faster progression of cardiovascular disease.

In a recent study, researchers found that stroke patients who were diagnosed with sleep apnea saw greater improvements in both neurological symptoms and daily ability to function when they used treatment for OSA. This was in comparison to patients with sleep apnea who only received typical medical care.

Sleep apnea and stroke

The study looked at 252 adults that were hospitalized for an ischemic stroke or a mini-stroke, which is known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Every participant was screened for sleep apnea. Researchers found that three-quarters of patients had sleep apnea and about two-thirds of those patients with sleep apnea were assigned to one of two interventions that included receiving CPAP therapy, training and encouragement. The other one-third with sleep apnea served as a control group and received usual medical care, plus recommendation at the end of the study to seek CPAP treatment.

Patients’ neurological symptoms and their ability to function in normal activities, such as walking and self care, were assessed at the beginning of the study and six months to one year later. At follow-up, all patients experienced improvement in both neurological symptoms and functional status. However, 59 percent of the patients who used CPAP had neurological symptoms scores at or close to normal. This was in contrast to 38 percent who had just received typical medical care.

If you treat sleep apnea early, the better your stroke outcome will be. Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel to discuss this further. What are some ways to help your patients now and in the future? My guess is that we will need to continue to build upon our relationships with physicians in our communities.

How to get a good night’s sleep infographic

Getting the proper amount of sleep each night is important for our patients’ health and well-being. As you know, this is because sleep is considered to be one of the biggest–and most underrated–factors in a person’s health. To help your patients get a better night’s sleep, take a look at the infographic below.

Feel free to download and print this infographic to share with your patients. Together we can provide our patients with the care they need to live healthier lives.