Take advantage of upcoming educational sessions

Have you been thinking about completing continuing education? Well, what are you waiting for? Yes, I know it is summer, but that is the best time to start! Plan your vacation around an upcoming seminar or lecture and bring the family too! 

Even once summer is done, we have several education sessions that are in warmer states so you can even get away from the cold in the fall and winter. To help you get a better idea for what is coming up, I have put together a list of my upcoming lectures. 

I have broken up the educational courses into three categories: Dental sleep medicine, craniofacial pain and combination. These courses will take place in the next three months and I hope to see you at one of them.

Dental sleep medicine education

September 14, 2019

Topic: DSM for NP/PA (Atlanta Sleep School)

Location: Atlanta, GA

 

September 27-28, 2019

Topic: DSM sleep Mini residency Session 1

Location: Denver, CO

 

October 4-5, 2019

Topic: Successful Implementation of Dental Sleep Medicine

Location: Chicago, IL

 

Craniofacial pain lectures

August 23-25, 2019

Topic: Orofacial Pain Mini Residency  Session 2

Location: Raleigh, NC

 

September 20-21, 2019

Topic: TMJ Disorders

Location: Dallas, TX

 

Combination sleep and pain sessions

August 9-10, 2019

Topic: Sleep & Pain Mini Residency 3 Session 3

Location: Atlanta, GA

 

September 6-7, 2019

Topic: Sleep & Pain Mini Residency 4 Session 1

Location: Atlanta, GA

 

October 11-12, 2019

Topic: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving for Sleep & TMJ

Location: Atlanta, GA

 

October 25-26, 2019

Topic: Dental Sleep & Craniofacial Pain Panel conference

Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL

 

There are a lot of great destinations in this list, with even more important topics to cover. I encourage you to attend a couple (or all) lectures in the next couple months. If you can’t, there will be more in the later part of the year too. We have a lot to talk about that can help you continue to improve the services you offer your patients. I look forward to seeing some of you at an upcoming lecture!

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.

Why do dentists, physicians ignore AHI number recommendation?

When told blood pressure is this number, we pay attention. When we are told AHI is this number, we don’t care. Why is it that we take this number so lightly? I think this is just as important to pay attention to as any other condition. Just as we care about BP measurements, we should also care about apnea hypopnea index, or AHI. I can’t say exactly why the AHI number recommendation goes ignored. But to help, let’s take a closer look at what AHI means for sleep apnea and our patients.

What is AHI?

It is the average number of combined apneas and hypopneas per hour. This helps to determine the severity of a person’s sleep apnea. Here is what to look for:

  • Normal sleep: Fewer than 5 events per hour.
  • Mild sleep apnea: 5 to 14 events per hour.
  • Moderate sleep apnea: 15 to 29 events per hour.
  • Severe sleep apnea: 30 or more events per hour.

While this scale is only for adults, children tend to be less likely to experience sleep apnea episodes. However, most specialists see an AHI above 1.5 as abnormal in children. They typically need treatment if their AHI is 5 or higher.

Treating sleep apnea

Patients with moderate or severe AHI scores may need to use a CPAP machine while sleeping. However, as many of you know, not all of our patients are adherent to the CPAP or can’t tolerate it. When this is the case, it is important to identify oral appliance therapy as an alternative treatment for their sleep apnea.

Lifestyle changes might also be something that you, or their physician, discuss. These changes will often include weight loss, exercising, smoking cessation and changing sleeping position, such as flipping from the back to sleeping on the side or stomach. These lifestyle changes are especially important for those with mild sleep apnea to try to minimize health comorbidities.

What are some ways to improve understanding of AHI numbers and how we can help our patients? I am open to hearing what you all do to continue to help your patients with sleep apnea.

Where is your online content? Add more information now.

Knowing how to write a blog, website content, press releases, educational content and other marketing materials might now seem important. After all, your priority is treating patients, right? While that is correct, you do also need to fulfill marketing efforts to reach those patients. Whether you, a member of your team or a freelance writer works on content marketing for your practice, it is key to establishing your brand. From social media management to blogging and other options, it’s time to get started on developing your online content.

Maintain an up-to-date blog

It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out as a general dentist or you are an established dental sleep medicine practice, it is important to blog on your website as soon as you can. I am aware of how busy you are and how hard it is to juggle multiple projects, but that is why you will need to get a member of your staff or a freelance writer to help. The extra help with writing will eliminate the stress of needing to think of topics to write about in a weekly blog.

So how do you think of topics? It’s actually quite simple, so try not to overthink it. Begin with the services you offer and explain them for your patients. A better understanding of those services is helpful. From there you can dive deeper into topics based on the initial services. And once your writer knows what you want, the easier it will get! The availability of weekly blogs can help to reach your patients while developing trust because you are showing you are an expert in your field.

Hop on social media

While you may already have your own personal Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram, but does your practice? And if your practice is already on social media, are you using it to your advantage? 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.

It is important to become an expert in your field, not just at your practice, but online as well. Working with a writer can help you reach your patients and other doctors. It takes the stress off of you and allows you to have creative, up-to-date content for easy access in all areas.