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Less Calculus – More Sleep: A Day in the Life of a Sleep Hygienist

by Gina Pepitone-Mattiello, RDH  A day in my life as a dental sleep medicine hygienist makes my heart happy and helps me sleep better at night. For starters, I am not picking up a scaler or explorer anymore. Instead, my instruments are a pulse oximeter and sphygmomanometer. Days are filled following up with referrals from sleep centers, physicians, and the occasional internet surfer who discovers our practice online. No matter how they come to us, they are always seeking the …

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Apples to Aardvarks: Comparing OAT & PAP Monitoring

by Suzanne Mericle, DMD, and Jeff Wyscarver, RPSGT ❝When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.❞ – Karl Pearson A poll of approximately 100 Board-Certified sleep physicians revealed that 68% believed CPAP works well. However, only 55% responded that Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) works well.1 These physician biased perceptions result in PAP being prescribed more than ten times as often as OAT. Making these statistics even more surprising is if …

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In Your Own Words

Providing life-saving care for patients is the #1 reason dentists get involved in Dental Sleep Medicine (DSM). Issues related to medical billing seem to be the #1 obstacle dentists cite for abandoning DSM. You provide the best treatment money can buy, so you expect to be compensated appropriately. This is where the frustration, disappointment, and confusion can set in. In each issue of Dental Sleep Practice, we ask numerous experts three questions. No one, not even the most prolific DSM …

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Coffee is for Closers: Get Out of Your Own Way

by Michael Cowen “I don’t understand. You’re telling me your treatment plan conversion rate dropped from 70% to 16%?” Perplexed, I exclaimed, “This makes no sense, Todd!” My friend, “Todd”, owns a successful general dentistry practice in the Midwest and has been treating sleep apnea for a few years. But in the last several weeks, there were 30 patient consults and only 5 moved forward with treatment. What happened? And that’s when Todd expelled the dirge-like chorus of our day, …

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Looking Forward to 2021!

Lisa Moler, Founder/CEO, MedMark Media Through all of the challenges and changes of 2020, I look forward to 2021 as a year of renewal and rejuvenation. 2020 changed our perspectives on patient care and the way we run our businesses. Sanitizing and masking have become part of daily routines, and new methods of communicating with patients and sharing information with colleagues have brought new efficiencies to dental practices. 2020 also has taught us that managing our offices efficiently can navigate …

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Weeding Out the Truth: CBD and Sleep

by Kent Smith, DDS, D.ABDSM  You’ve seen it in nail salons and boutique stores. Heck, even gas stations are selling it. What’s the hoopla? Much has been written about cannabidiol, better known as “CBD,” and the majority of it has been offered in the forms of anecdotal evidence, conjecture, attempts to sell a specific product, or some combination of these. I won’t do much better with this article but will try to make the connection between CBD – wait, let’s …

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Please Help!

Jason Tierney My Mom was rushed to the emergency room on her 63rd birthday. From there, she was transferred to the ICU for several days. This was during a spike in COVID numbers that elicited warnings to avoid non-life-threatening visits to the hospital. This was life-threatening. And an emergency. My Dad called me with the news. Shocked but unsurprised due to my Mom’s indulgences, I asked what happened. He told me that during a routine visit, her PCP noted that …

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