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How a Dentist gets Traction Treating Sleep in their Practice, Erin E. Elliott DDS | ASBA

February 27, 2017
Dr. Erin Elliott

Dr. Erin Elliott DDS

You’ve just taken your first course in Dental Sleep Medicine, you cannot wait to go back to your office and provide this life-saving and life-changing service.  However, your team is completely avoiding eye contact with you, avoiding you, or flat out refusing to help?  Why is this?  Why is Dental Sleep Medicine different than incorporating digital dentistry or a new endo technique?  At the recent NADSM Symposium in Clearwater, FL I gave a lecture on exactly this.  If you missed it, the upcoming Sleep and Wellness Conference April 21-22 hosted by the American Sleep and Breathing Academy will be you’re next best option to have these questions answered.

If you ask any general dentist that has successfully integrated DSM into their practice they usually give one reason as to why they are.  Their team!  And that’s what it is… team.  They are not your employees, your “girls,” or your staff, but team.  If you can find a Dental Sleep Medicine Champion to be your point person (whether it be a hygienist or assistant) and get the rest of the team to help support you in screening and treatment then you are well on your way.  You need to start by finding your “Why.”  Why would we spend money to travel and educate ourselves?  Why would we discuss something other than restorative or periodontal needs to our patients?  Why would we want to mess with medical insurance when we treat OSA?  Treat your family, friends or yourself and you will soon discover your “Why” by changing people’s lives.

I played a “Family Feud” style game with the “top 8 excuses on the board.”  What are the reasons more practices aren’t treating more patients?  Change was #1.  Yes it is outside of dentistry and it is different but change is coming whether we like it or not.  “Open your mind to the possibilities hidden behind the inconvenience of change.”  Not enough education, not enough time, and my demographic/area also made it on the list.  Some of the biggest hurdles however, are medical insurance and of course, the patients.  With some good verbiage and good systems these can easily be overcome.

Don’t let these things stop you, don’t be overcome, don’t give up.  Get your team on board and continue to find your “Why.”

Learn more at the Annual Sleep and Wellness Conference April 21-22 in Phoenix, AZ, hosted by the American Sleep and Breathing Academy

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