Dr. Patel was on the cover of Dental Sleep Practice magazine

Did you catch Dr. Patel and Rose Nierman on the cover of Dental Sleep Practice magazine this spring? You did? That’s OK because we have it right here! Check it out! 

Did you also know that you can also access the full magazine online? You can. Here is the full magazine

Inside the magazine is an article, “A Journey into Dental Sleep Medicine & Craniofacial Pain,” which is about Dr. Patel’s journey as a dentist. He is a dentist that other professionals look up to as an expert. Through the creation of his practice, he continues to provide his patients with the best care possible in the areas of dental sleep medicine and craniofacial pain.

Dental Sleep Practice sat down with Dr. Patel to learn more about his journey. You can read the full article here.

Here’s how to generate physician referrals

Are you ready to get new patients for sleep apnea or craniofacial pain treatment? Now is the time to get your practice noticed. It is important to establish a working relationship with your local physicians. This is essential for generating patient referrals, which are key to keeping your dental sleep medicine and/or craniofacial pain practice alive. To help you with generating physician referrals, here are four things you can do now to establish a strong working relationship.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

This step is so important I had to say it three times, “Prepare, prepare and prepare.” When speaking with a physician you only get a short time frame to share what you need to say. To make the most of those short minutes, prepare something to say that won’t take up too much time. Think of an elevator ride. What can you say in that short ride to the fifth or tenth floor?

Think about a couple of bullet points that you want to make sure you hit. These points should be tailored to the physician’s specialty. For example, ENTs will want to know more about how you are offering oral appliances and how these devices can be tried before recommending surgery. If you are talking to a family physician, think about sharing how it may take a long time for patients to get into a sleep clinic for further testing. And if you are speaking with a cardiologist, discuss atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, hypertension or any other sleep apnea comorbidities.

Invite physicians to a lunch and learn

Everyone loves a lunch and learn, right? Think about it. If you can find a convenient time for physicians in your community to pop in for a quick presentation and lunch, they would remember it. This is a chance for you to get to know the other health care providers in your community, while also educating their teams on the benefits of oral appliance therapy for treatment of sleep apnea or temporomandibular joint disorder.

Use this time to answer questions about insurance benefits, how it works and how they can refer. Don’t forget to invite your team too–they are there to mingle and learn as well. And make sure you bring some marketing materials with you to share. This allows the physicians to bring something back with them.

Visit the office

Sometimes you just have to go straight to the source. If you want to reach out, feel free to stop into a physician’s office to drop off marketing materials or have a quick chat with the doctor. This allows you to share important information without completely disrupting their day. You should include the latest American Academy of Sleep Medicine guidelines that list oral appliance therapy as a successful treatment option. You should also share your services and how you can help their patients too. One way to really catch their eye is to personalize the marketing materials you share with them. Try to include a handwritten note to each physician.

Refer patients back

This relationship goes both ways. If the physician is referring patients to you and you are doing nothing in return, what good will that do? This is a time to establish a strong working relationship and if you are referring patients back to them, it is a win-win for both offices. You want them to feel like the relationship is one of collaboration and that you are caring for patients as a team.

Join us in Chapel Hill for a Craniofacial Pain and TMJ mini residency

Join Terry Bennett, DMD, Mayoor Patel, DDS, MS, UNC’s Greg Essick, DDS, and Rose Nierman, RDH, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina for the 2019 Orofacial Pain Mini Residency! This craniofacial pain and TMJ mini residency will help you better care for your patients.

The Orofacial Pain Mini-Residency is a comprehensive 2-session, 40 CE Credit program designed to give dental practices the knowledge and guidance to fully incorporate orofacial pain treatment into their practice.

With an emphasis on hands-on learning, attendees gain the skills and confidence needed to be successful in all aspects of TMD & craniofacial pain treatment.

Session 1: June 28-30, 2019     Friday & Saturday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

                                                        Sunday 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Session 2: Aug 23-25, 2019       Friday & Saturday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

                                                        Sunday 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Meet the speakers

Greg Essick, DDS. Professor in the Department of Restorative Sciences and Director of the Dental Sleep Clinic at UNC. He is also author/co-author of over 120 journal articles and book chapters, the most recent pertaining to sleep medicine and pain.

Mayoor Patel, DDS, MS. He is a diplomate of ABCP, ABDSM, ABCDSM and ABOP. He is also a board member of ABCP and ABCDSM, and examination chair for ABCP. Dr. Patel’s practice is limited to dental sleep medicine and craniofacial pain.

Terry Bennett, DMD. Diplomate of ABCP, ABDSM and ABCDSM. Dr. Bennett is the former president of the AACP and his practice is limited to dental sleep medicine and craniofacial pain.

Rose Nierman, RDH. Founder/CEO Nierman Practice Management. Rose is the most experienced and recognized educator nationwide in CrossCroding. She makes medical billing fun and rewarding to learn.

What will be covered?

Session 1 consists of neuroanatomy, the concepts and fundamentals of pain, musculoskeletal disorders, neuropathic disorders, neurovascular disorders, and hands-on examination and documentation systems, and finishing with medical billing for TMD treatment.

Session 2 includes imaging, pharmaceuticals, and adjunct therapy for orofacial pain. Therapy for craniomandibular disorders, orthotic therapy, and a review of other common orofacial pain conditions is covered before diving into hands-on injection therapy, and closing with sleep and pain, and case studies.
Don’t forget to register today! We hope to see you in Chapel Hill, North Carolina!

The ABCs of Advanced Dentistry: Airway, Bruxism and Craniofacial Pain

It has become increasingly clear that there is a link between sleep apnea (airway), bruxism and craniofacial pain, in some patients and dentists should be knowledgeable in all three areas. Most dentists are not knowledgeable or well-versed in dental sleep medicine, etiologies of bruxism or craniofacial pain conditions. For this reason many dentists are unable to recognize the risk of sleep apnea, let alone manage patients with oral appliances.

The same goes for craniofacial pain and bruxism. While bruxism is often more noticeable, it is often overlooked. By understanding the unique connections between the airway, bruxism, craniofacial pain and other conditions, dentists can open their practice to more services for diagnosis and treatment options for their patients. Here are the ABCs of advanced dentistry are Airway, Bruxism and Craniofacial Pain.

Airway (Sleep Apnea)

Dental practices are in a unique position to identify patients at risk for conditions involving the airway, such as sleep disordered breathing (SDB). There are many levels of diagnosis a patient may receive once testing has been completed to evaluate a suspect compromised airway, which is where continuing education comes into play. Understanding the airway and how it can affect a patient’s sleeping patterns due to sleep apnea and other sleep disordered breathing conditions is vital in maintaining your patients’ health and improving service offerings.

Bruxism

The gnashing and grinding of the teeth that occurs without a functional purpose is called Bruxism, which can cause a lot of problems for our patients. Whether a patient has a nervous habit, is experiencing stress or is unknowingly grinding their teeth at night, bruxism can cause a lot of damage to not only their teeth, but their overall health as well. Due to the breakage of dental restorations, tooth damage, induction of temporal headaches and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) can occur.

Craniofacial Pain (TMD)

And now it comes full circle with craniofacial pain. Covering a wide spectrum of symptoms, Craniofacial pain can be exhibited in many areas of the head and neck. In particular, a majority of craniofacial pain complications can be associated with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Because of this, an essential part of routine dental examinations for all patients should include evaluation for TMD. This includes the gold standard for the diagnosis of TMD, which is based on history, clinical examination, and imaging when appropriate.

There appears to be a relationship apparent in some individuals between the airway, bruxism and craniofacial pain. While it is not found in every patient, there still remain some individuals that require further attention because the connection seems apparent. As a dentist, it is important to understand that clenching or grinding of one’s teeth can be a way for the brain to protect itself from suffocation during sleep.

Each condition can be a sign for a deeper problem, but what do you do about it? Educate yourself. The more you know, the more you can help your patients if this apparent connection arises in various cases. And, while it might not occur in every case, it is vital that we understand it for those certain individuals suffering from all three conditions.