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.

Content Marketing and Your Practice

In today’s technologically advanced society, simply owning and running your dental practice is not enough. While treating your patients is one of the most important parts of your practice, there is another area that is just as important: Content Marketing. Yes, you heard me right. So, what does content marketing have to do with dentistry? Everything! The use of content marketing not only helps get your practice’s name out there, but it also helps to educate your patients so that they can continue to take proper care of themselves outside of your office as well. Here’s what you can do with content marketing to help improve your presence:

Blog, Blog, Blog

By incorporating a blog on your website you are creating an extension of your site. Utilize your blog to share important information about your practice, dentistry, sleep apnea, craniofacial pain, tips, and other information you feel your patients need to know. The blog is there for you to use it as you wish. Whether it is once a month, once a week or twice a week—make sure you are blogging to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. 

Get Social

Jump on social media to interact with your patients. Not only can your patients “like” your office, but they can leave reviews, message you and ask questions. It also allows you to actively respond to your patients outside of office hours, as well as a platform to share all those blog posts you will be creating!

Reach Out to Patients

Reaching out to your patients is simple. Whether you create a monthly newsletter or send out weekly emails with updates, it is important to reach out to your patients to keep the lines of communication open. You want to make sure your patients know they can contact you with questions or concerns and you will be open to speaking with them.

In-Office Education

From pamphlets to handouts, keeping your patients educated is important in your office, too. To keep them educated, you can put together pamphlets or one page handouts that touch base on important information that you feel they should know. You might also consider a frequently asked questions sheet that covers areas many patients are always interested in.

No matter what route you take, it is important to make the most out of content marketing for not only reaching your patients, but in creating a presence for your practice. Contact me if you have any questions!

The Hygienist’s Role in Dental Sleep Medicine

As a dental hygienist, you can save lives, too! Hygienists are typically concerned with looking for and eradicating periodontal disease, and improving their patients’ overall oral health. At the same time, hygienists are looking for cavities, screening for oral cancer, treating periodontal infections, and motivating patients to improve their oral health at home. Dental hygienists also educate patients on the links between periodontal disease and heart attacks, diabetes, and low birth-weight babies. As the first person your patients meet, hygienists offer recommendations based on a patient’s individual needs, which might include advice on sleep.

Sleep Apnea and Hygienists

When going to the dentist, the topic of sleep apnea is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, the area of dental sleep medicine continues to advance each year. Once a dental hygienist has received the proper education, training and CE certification in sleep apnea it is impossible to ignore the signs and symptoms of this potentially deadly condition. Initial screenings reveal that many of your patients might snore, feel tired all the time or knew someone who had been diagnosed with sleep apnea, but had never sought treatment.

Educate Your Patients

In addition to educating your patients on oral diseases and complications, it is important to also educate them on the dangers of sleep apnea and what treatment options are available. Through the knowledge of sleep apnea, patients can become better informed of this potentially deadly disease before it worsens.

As a hygienist you can educate your patients on what sleep apnea is, as well as oral appliances. Explain to your patients how an oral appliance works and how it would be custom-made specifically for their individual needs so they can sleep with an unobstructed airway.

Incorporating dental sleep medicine into your practice is important. It is also extremely beneficial to make sure your dental hygienists receive the education they need to properly identify a problem, as well as establishing and maintaining an effective treatment plan.

Treating sleep apnea in the dental office helps to increase the quality of your patients’ lives. With the help of your hygienists, your patients will sleep better, wake up well rested, and their bed partners will thank you, too! Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel for more information on how your hygienists can also receive the educational training they need to accomplish to help them in identifying and treating sleep apnea in patients.

Learning More

When it comes to maintaining an up-to-date dental practice, it is important to receive continuing education through classes, lectures and webinars. With a variety of options available for expanding your knowledge and your practice’s expertise, you can continue to improve your services and how to help your patients’ various oral health care needs. To help you and your practice, Dr. Mayoor Patel lectures and, most recently, participates in webinars. Let’s take a look at upcoming lectures and the latest webinar.

Upcoming Lectures

To learn more about various areas of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Patel will be lecturing throughout the year. You can easily find out more information about his upcoming lectures by visiting his website.  Dr. Mayoor Patel has upcoming lectures in both October and November:

October 24 – 25, 2014

Location: Atlanta Sleep School, Atlanta, GA

Topic: Sleep Medicine for the Dental Practice

November 14, 2014

Location: Patterson Dental, San Diego, CA

Topic: Dental Sleep Medicine

Each lecture allows Dr. Patel to work with dentists to better understand various areas of Dental Sleep Medicine. As an end result, dentists can continue to advance their dental practice by utilizing these new services. Dr. Patel is also available to work with each practice individually through his consultation services for more personalized help.

Upcoming Webinar

Additionally, Dr. Mayoor Patel is excited to team up with Sleep Review editor, Sree Roy, and a team of expert presenters in a free webcast on Thursday, October 16th at 2:00 p.m. EDT/11:00 a.m. PDT. This webcast was put together to explain various options for incorporating dental sleep medicine specialists into a sleep medicine team. The webcast is approximately an hour long live presentation that will feature practitioners who have found mutually beneficial success –for both the physician and dentist –to working together to benefit patients. Throughout the webcast, you will have the opportunity to ask your own questions to each presenter.

Speaking alongside Dr. Mayoor Patel are the following:

  • Harold A. Smith, DDS – President-elect, American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
  • Scott Craig, CEO – Chief Executive Officer, Midwest Dental Sleep Center
  • Daniel G. Klauer, DDS, DABCP – Clinical director, TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centres International, TMJ & Sleep Therapy Cenre of Northern Indiana

 
To register and learn more about “Incorporating Dentistry into a Sleep Medicine Team,” you can visit the webcast registration page here.

Dr. Mayoor Patel encourages dentists and physicians to join the webinar to learn more information about Dental Sleep Medicine, as well as the opportunity to ask any questions they might have.