Dental Sleep Medicine Insider December 2016 - Page 22

BRETT BROCKI RECOGNIZE THE OPPORTUNITY IN YOUR WAITING ROOM S leep Medicine represents an amazing opportunity for dental practices but many dentists get frustrated because they have trouble finding patients. The truth is, every dentist already has sleep patients, they just don’t recognize them. Sleep patients are walking through your door every day. If you have 10 patients, statistically 2 have some degree of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The In-Office Screener tool, available through the DS3 System. That means, for every 100 dental patients, 20 have OSA. 200 out of 1000 are OSA patients. How many are in your waiting room right now? How many will you see next week? Many patients don’t know they have a problem. They wake up tired every day and think that is normal. Some of your patients may already suspect they have a problem, but fear of “the mask” (CPAP) is preventing them from seeking treatment. They are afraid that if they go to a doctor, they will be diagnosed and prescribed CPAP as the only treatment option. Those of us involved in dental sleep medicine know there is an effective and convenient alternative for those who qualify: oral appliance therapy (OAT). We also know that good sleep improves so many aspects of daily life: alertness, ability to concentrate and improved moods. The first step to identifying and treating these patients is screening. It begins with asking a simple question like, “you seem tired, how are you sleeping?” From there, you or a member of your staff can ask follow-up questions to determine if a sleep test is warranted. They key to identifying the patients in your practice is to build an effective, efficient screening process into 1 out of 5 screenings lead to sleep patients. BRETT BROCKI Brett Brocki is CEO of N3Sleep, a national sleep consulting and training firm. If you need help getting your whole team on board screening for OSA, contact N3Sleep for in-office training for your entire staff. your existing workflow. Get your whole team involved. With the right training and techniques, each patient interaction can lead to a screening, and as we know, 1 out of 5 screenings lead to sleep patients. By starting the conversation, you can help educate your patients about how serious OSA is, how it affects their existing conditions, and how it can get worse if left untreated. There are patients in your office who need help. Let’s make a difference together.