Don’t be afraid of online reviews

Today more than ever, people are turning to search engines such as Google, along with other trustworthy review sources to find everything from local restaurants and florists to hair stylists and auto repair shops.  The internet is the new phone book, and that means even a person’s choice of a dentist or dental sleep medicine specialist is highly influenced by where your practice ranks on search engines and what other patients are saying about your practice.

While you can’t prevent patients from reviewing your practice, you can increase the number of positive reviews you acquire through proper online reputation management.

Patients use reviews

By the time a patient begins looking at reviews online, they have already decided they need or want a service related to your practice. From looking at reviews, patients are attempting to see if your practice will fit into what they are in search of.

According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, about 85% of consumers report reading online reviews. But how many do they read before making a decision? Well, the survey also pointed out that about 67% of consumers will read six reviews or less before forming an opinion and making a decision.

And in another survey, about 90% said they made a decision based on good reviews, while 85% made their decision based on negative reviews. So, while you might think positive reviews are the deciding factor, think again. For this reason it is important to respond to negative reviews offline to provide a better experience for that patient.

Start asking patients for reviews

If you haven’t begun to ask your patients to review your practice, what is holding you back? All you need to do is ask your patients. It is important to get your front desk staff on the same page with what they are saying to patients as they check out.

Try asking your staff to share a review card or directing patients to the right area for finding further information about your practice. By asking your patients for reviews, you are generating loyalty, which not only looks good for potential patients, it helps keep patients too.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and begin your online reputation management to further advance your reach for your dental sleep medicine and craniofacial pain practice.

Lymphatic System’s Connection with Migraines and Sleep

In a study posted by the Washington Post, scientists studied lymphatic vessels for more than two decades. For more than 300 years it was accepted that the lymphatic vessels stopped at the brain. However, this recent study by scientists found new answers. Utilizing mice with glowing lymphatic systems, Kari Alitalo found that the heads of the mice glowed, which showed a link between the lymphatic system and the head. This is where migraines and sleep come into play.

A Migraine Connection

Harvard University researchers found that glymphatic flow (is a functional waste clearance pathway for the vertebrate central nervous system (CNS)) significantly decreases in the period just before a migraine. The intense pain of migraines is caused by inflamed nerves in the tissue that surrounds the brain. As a result of faulty clearance of molecular waste from the brain, it can trigger inflammation in these pain fibers, which leads to disturbingly painful headaches.

Sleep’s Role

Another link with the glymphatic flow is sleep–the system appears to process twice as much fluid during sleep as it does during the time awake. In this situation, the lymphatic system removed more of the protein when the mice were asleep than when they were awake. As suggested, over time sleep dysfunction may also contribute to Alzheimer’s and even brain illnesses. While you are sleeping, you clean your brain, so when you can’t sleep, your brain suffers–you need that time for housekeeping.

Sleep position is also important. When a person sleeps in an upright position, waste is not removed properly. Sleeping on your stomach is also not effective with the back being somewhat better. When laying on your side, it appears to show much better results. Sleep might not be the only way to improve glymphatic flow, but it is one of the better ways.

We need to continue to take these advancements and improve our services to our patients. With a connection between the lymphatic system, migraines and sleep, we can keep offering our patients the care they need to remain healthy and happy. Let’s take these advancements and work toward an improved understanding of the migraine and sleep connection with the lymphatic system.

Complete Continuing Education at ADA 2017

The American Dental Association (ADA) has now opened registration for ADA 2017! This is a great event that takes place every year for dentists and their team members to stay abreast of the latest changes in dentistry. It even offers dentists a chance to complete continuing education to continue to advance their practices—it’s a win-win for everyone. And, this year, I will be joining ADA 2017 as a panel speaker on dental sleep medicine!

About ADA 2017

ADA 2017—America’s Dental Meeting at the Georgia World Congress Center will be taking place in Atlanta from October 19-23! Dentists from all over the country will be joining ADA 2017 to learn more about dentistry, advanced education and other topics. There will also be a block party, and a special appearance from Peyton Manning, an all around humanitarian dedicated to various foundations. Be sure to visit the Exhibit Hall, too, where hundreds of companies will be showcasing the latest products and technology! If you are in search of continuing education, you can visit ADA.org/meeting/continuing-education and the preliminary program can be downloaded at ADA.org/en/meeting/attendee-information.

Dental Sleep Medicine Panel

Now is the time to get hands on experience within advanced areas of dentistry! At this year’s ADA 2017, I will be participating in the Sleep Medicine Panel: Ask the Experts on Thursday, October 19th from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. This panel is available to help you grow as a dentist within the dental sleep medicine field.

If you have ever attended a continuing education course for dental sleep medicine with questions, now is the time to speak up. I will join three other sleep experts on this panel to present short summaries of our approaches for treating patients. Don’t worry; there will be plenty of room for in-depth discussion of what is on your mind. Feel free to bring your team, as well as billing and practical questions for us to answer!

I want to make sure you leave here with the knowledge you need to successfully implement dental sleep medicine at your practice. By attending this course, you will leave with a better understanding of various perspectives of treating sleep patients in your dental office, improved confidence in practicing dental sleep medicine, and comfort in billing medical insurance for sleep therapy.

I look forward to meeting you all and helping you better understand dental sleep medicine! To learn more, please visit our ADA 2017 course page.

International Board Member of British Society of Dental Sleep Medicine

Over the past year, I have been working closely with Dr. Aditi Desai and her team at the British Society of Dental Sleep Medicine (BSDSM) to educate dentists. Together we have created an effective lecture series to better provide advanced information for dentists in the UK.

Last summer I flew to London to lead an “Introduction to Dental Sleep Medicine” with the BSDSM. This group of dentists were so interested in dental sleep medicine that we worked together to ensure we could continue to provide these courses every year. In the introduction course, I worked with Dr. Desai on a module for temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), craniofacial pain (CFP), and sleep bruxism (SB).

After working with Dr. Desai at the British Society of Dental Sleep Medicine, it is my pleasure to announce my new position as International Board. I look forward to working more with Dr. Desai, other board members and the dentists in London, as well as surrounding countries. Together we can continue to provide exceptional education on dental sleep medicine, TMD and craniofacial pain.