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Get Buy-In from the Whole Team – Bring Them to the ASBA Conference

March 4, 2017

If  you want to get into sleep medicine, or improve the oral appliance section of your dental practice, it takes buy-in from the entire practice. Sure, you can go to the American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA) annual meeting by yourself, but will you be able to transmit the enthusiasm and knowledge that you gain?


I call it the “seminar high” and attaining those heights is better when at least one team member from the clinical or administrative side is along for the trip. Conference tuition and travel expenses for this year’s Sleep and Wellness Conference has been made affordable with the goal being for at least one staff member to attend.


Visit Conference website for more information


In my work as executive director at Gergen’s Sleep Lab, I have seen all that enthusiasm go to waste because dentists feel overwhelmed at the prospect of adding oral appliances to their practice. It is definitely not the same as traditional restorative dentistry.


Dentists may successfully relay some of what they learn, but they will inevitably forget something. Even if they could describe everything they learned, it’s difficult to communicate the sheer inspiration that happens after a two-day educational event.


Remember, if staff members don’t come to the presentations, they will simply have one thing on their minds; How much extra work is this new oral appliance commitment going to generate? If you can’t explain the tools (software, proper insurance protocols, and treatment), it may only lead to frustration.


Don’t leave staff to scramble and figure out what they need to do. Invite your team members to the ASBA show. Again, we understand that cost can be an issue, and you may hesitate to spend more dollars on tuition and travel expenses. However, if you go to a seminar and pay the tuition, then come back and fail to properly begin the oral appliance business, you will end up losing what you pay in tuition anyway.


The most successful doctors I see are the ones who bring their team members. Once they get home, they are the ones compiling ideas and determining how oral appliances can be implemented. You want everyone on board. If staff members are too busy to go, they are probably too busy to seriously pursue sleep medicine.


Visit Conference website for more information


Office managers, assistants, and hygienists will be talking to patients about oral appliances and giving those patients the basics. They will be talking about insurance, billing, and treatment and they answer phones and answer questions. Give them the tools they need to succeed. It will be worth the investment.


Angela Kowaleski is executive director of Gergen’s Sleep Lab, with locations in Arizona and Illinois.

She has more than 20 years experience in the field of dental sleep medicine.

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