Opportunities Dentists Miss by not Offering Sleep Apnea Treatment
Dentists risk missing a huge opportunity when they don’t offer sleep apnea treatment. What dentists miss by not treating sleep apnea is the opportunity to not only save people's lives but to add a significant new revenue stream to their practice. Doctors also miss out on the chance to build a better reputation in their community as a team member who’s part of the whole medical profession in a way that hasn’t been accomplished before.
What dentists don't realize is that obstructive sleep apnea treatment actually helps maintain the dental care they have delivered to the patient.
What do I mean by this?
Sometimes clenching and grinding all night will destroy the dental restorations that you, the dentist, has placed. Dentists often treat jaw joint problems that are related to these nighttime habits caused by obstructive sleep apnea. Mouth breathing also creates more susceptibility to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Even diabetes and high blood pressure can be destructive to gum tissue health of these patients. Treating–or at least referring patients for care for obstructive sleep apnea–will vastly improve the dental care that the dentist has delivered.
How Dentists Can Start Treating Sleep Apnea
Sleep Balance Academy is an educational site where I train chiropractors and dentists in the principles of sleep medicine. The best way I know to get started with sleep apnea education is with the online training from Sleep Balance Academy. We also have online coaching programs for those who prefer training face-to-face for themselves and their staff without having to travel to destination cities.
Supporting Doctors on Sleep Apnea Cases
With In Hand Dental, doctors can develop prescriptions within the app so the doctor or a staff member can monitor the patient’s home care compliance. The patient uses the app to upload photos so the office can see progress without needing a full appointment with the patient. They can also ask questions about their treatment, which staff answer through the app, again taking the place of a full office visit. It’s the perfect way to offer remote service, which more and more people want these days.
The app works well with the Sleep Balance Academy Circul+ ring which monitors the titration of our sleep treatments. We use In Hand Dental to monitor compliance with Invisalign treatment and to monitor oral hygiene instructions for children and adults, including those in traditional orthodontic wires and brackets, to make sure progress is not impeded by non-compliance.
We support doctors new to sleep apnea treatment by monitoring the progress of a practice through the In Hand Dental app. We access only the information the doctor wants to consult on, and this allows us to give guidance and support on their progress in sleep medicine. In this way, the app gives you a remote coach who gives your practice the support you need until you reach full expertise in sleep apnea treatment.
Adding Services Smoothly
Practices, doctors and staff are busy. How does adding in sleep apnea patients impact this?
I have seen practices successfully add sleep apnea treatment using the In Hand Dental app because it reduces the time patients spend in the office and makes it easy for staff to follow up with patients remotely. With this app, sleep apnea treatment generates additional income without a lot of additional time and effort. It allows staff to manage communication with patients, only bringing to the doctor issues the doctor needs to look at personally.
With the In Hand Dental app, you don't even have to look at reporting every day. In some cases you only need once-a-month contact with your patient. You can administer or send out messages as often as you wish, but you don't have to have a response from the patient on a daily basis.
Getting Your Staff Ready
In Hand Dental will completely onboard your staff and train them to use the app and the office software. With their training, your staff will be comfortable with the software so they can present new and current patients with the opportunity to use the app for their home care. From then on, using the remote app should be part of the conversation in any patient compliant health care instructions.
Scaling the Business with Sleep Apnea Patients
A dentist can scale this program easily by adding $8, $9 or $10 per month to any health care discount plan they are selling in their practice. As a matter of fact, it is the perfect addition to the health care plans patients purchase for preventive care, hygiene care and recall care. That’s an ideal way to scale this program.
One of the biggest opportunities is for the dentist to have patients subscribe to the In Hand Dental app with the $9-a-month monitoring fee. Patients have responded well to this in many practices.
There is a clear path for any dentist who wants to add sleep apnea treatment to their services. You can get all the training you need, plus coaching from an expert, and it doesn’t take much more staff time at all when you use the In Hand Dental app. Then you increase your reputation as a doctor who offers the remote services everyone likes now, and you treat sleep apnea which is a growing problem. You can’t go wrong.
Want to learn more about In Hand Dental? Go to our Contact Page and set up a time to book a free demo today!
Guest blogger, Dr. Richard Downs is a retired dentist who practiced in Dubuque, Iowa for over 42 years. He’s affiliated with educational companies such as Sleep Balance Academy, Online Home Sleep Study and the Air Institute Portland protocol in Portland Oregon.
Dr. Downs has a fellowship in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and the Academy of General Dentistry, and Diplomate status in the Global Mini Dental Implant Association and has a Diplomate credential in the American Sleep and Breathing Academy. His online business includes the manufacturer of nasal cleaning products from the USA guard.com.
He initiated the formation of oracareproducts.com which sells the very popular and effective Oracare mouth rinse. The company is expanding into seven new countries.