Archives for posts with tag: Dental Hygienist
Tracie Harley, RDH was a Super Hygienist. She exuded a contagious passion for helping her patients, and everyone loved her. She was admired for her clinical skills and successful patient compliance. Tracie enjoyed working as an itinerant “temp” hygienist because it gave her the opportunity to meet new dental professionals and learn from them.When COVID-19 set in and dental practices needed to shut down, (Periodontal disease was not classified as an “essential” medical service), Tracie had time to reflect on her future.
Her love for dental hygiene was overshadowed by the fear of returning to a risky dangerous occupation. Her concern about contaminated aerosols and the intimate physical contact with unknown strangers made her re-think her future. 
ONE DOOR CLOSES, A BETTER ONE OPENS

 

That’s when she made the painful decision to investigate other options. She wanted to stay in Dentistry. She spoke with her friend Susan who was working as a Dental Sleep Coordinator in a Sleep Practice.  With the advice of her friend, Tracie took a Sleep Coordinator training course, got placement assistance, became situated in a high value private dental practice and quickly concentrated on screening patients for Sleep Breathing Disorders like Obstructive Sleep Apnea. 
Within two months of making her decision she was helping the dentist treating patients, on average three each day, for sleep apnea. The average income for each case was $4000. This generated for the office $12,000 a week for three easy, relaxed, rewarding half days a week.  And Tracie‘s income for this was three times greater than before as a hygienist. 
This may sound like “pie in the sky” but it is a conservative example. When you check around you will find examples like this being quietly conducted all throughout the nation. The happy ending- Tracie stayed on 3 half days a week as the Sleep Coordinator. How is that for a ROI of 6 weeks’ training?

 

                  MALLAMPATI EXAM

The Mallampati Scale is a simple but effective test to assess your patient’s (or your own) airway .

The subject should be sitting or standing with their head on a 90 degree axis to the floor.
They protrude their tongue (not necessary to say “ahh”) and with a direct light into the  mouth, look in and/ or take a picture.
 
Class III or IV conditions are certain candidates for further testing and possible therapy.
The tongue is the most common factor in Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Now that you learned this you will probably be heading for a mirror. How did you rate?                                     

                                  MALLAMPATI EXAM

The Mallampati Scale is a simple but effective test to assess your patient’s (or your own) airway .

The subject should be sitting or standing with their head on a 90 degree axis to the floor. They protrude their tongue (not necessary to say “ahh”) and with a direct light into the  mouth, look in and/ or take a picture.
 
Class III or IV conditions are certain candidates for further testing and possible therapy.
The tongue is the most common factor in Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Now that you learned this you will probably be heading for a mirror. How did you rate?   
This year August 18th was the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution- heralded as the turning point for women’s voting rights in America.
Textbooks hail the amendment, ratified on August 18, 1920, under President Warren Harding, as a “milestone” guaranteeing voting rights to women.
In 1973, Congress designated August 26, the date the amendment was officially certified, as Women’s Equality Day — honoring, in the words of then-President Richard Nixon, “the first step toward full and equal participation of women in our Nation’s life.”  

The 19th Amendment reads: “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

HOW SLEEP APNEA INFLUENCES SYSTEMIC DISORDERS AND HOW YOU CORRECT THEM
The article on women with sleep apnea raised so much interest that I am offering a follow-up with some explanations you asked for.
So, you are a woman in dentistry, caring and dedicated. You want to give your obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) afflicted patient a simple layman explanation on the importance of healthy sleep.

Try this:

1.  The key is oxygen.

Can you imagine holding your breath for 10 seconds and even up to a minute, 20 times per hour on average, when you thought you were sleeping? That’s Moderate (not Severe) sleep apnea. That’s 160 apnea events X 10 seconds  = 1600 seconds (27 minutes during an 8 hour “sleep” session. And it could be much higher.
How much oxygen would pass to your lungs and consequently to all your organs during that time? Every system in your body will suffer and break down. And that would lead to strokes among other repercussions.
2.  Why high blood pressure and acid reflux (GERD) are common co-morbidities of OSA
During the cessations of breathing the body will increase its efforts to take in air.
Abdominal contractions are exaggerated and increase until breathing resumes.  The contractions squeeze the stomach and force acid through the LES and up the esophagus.
The efforts to breathe also increase a negative pressure in the esophagus which also pull up acid and elevate blood pressure. Aha! The mystery is resolved!
3. The solution.
 Correct the sleep breathing disorder (Oral Appliance Therapy ((OAT) is effective, economical and convenient), and you will observe the symptoms of OSA diminish and in many cases disappear. Isn’t hat a lot better than popping pills every day.?

Are you ready to cut those strings that have tied you to the dental chair for all those years? You have had a long productive career of interacting with people in need and improving their quality of life. Now, after years of intense dedication to detail you are looking for alternatives. You want to hang up the loupes but are wondering what to do first and what will you do when you start to miss the patient interaction.   Here’s what one astute dentist did:

Dr. Sidney Shaw was an old-fashioned type dentist. She had a conservative treatment approach to the practice of dentistry, She exuded an obvious passion for helping her patients, and everyone loved her. She had an admired and successful general dental practice.  At the ripe young age of 66 she was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and her doctor told her she had to slow down. That’s when she made the painful decision to put her practice up for sale and reap the rewards from the 38 years of hard work invested into building her practice. She felt she could retire comfortably on her proceeds from the sale.

She contacted a dental transition broker who conducted a very comprehensive practice valuation. To Sidney’s dismay the valuation reported a market value of 310,000. This was more than disappointing to Sidney; it was devastating. It was not enough to comfortably support her and her mounting medical bills.

“Disappointment is a temporary obstacle on the road to success.”

Sidney contacted me and we came up with a solution for her.  We implemented a new program that added another three hundred thousand dollars in value to her sale price.

Within two months of making her decision she was treating two patients, on average, each day for sleep apnea. Her average fee for each case was $3500. This amounted to $21,000 a week for three easy, relaxed, rewarding half days a week. This projected to revenues of an incredible $1,050,000 for a 50 week year. This may sound like “pie in the sky” but when you check around you will find examples like this being quietly conducted all throughout the nation.

The happy ending:

Sidney sold her practice for 2.5 times more than that original market value and she stayed on 3 half days a week as a ” sleep specialist” for the new owner. How is that for a ROI of two months’ training?

A dentist asked me, “ How do I find sleep apnea patients that I can treat?“

Here’s how I answered him, “They will find you.“
If you saw the award winning movie “Field of Dreams” you will remember Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) being told, “Build a field and they will come.”   He did build a baseball field in a Kansas corn field and sure enough the great legends of the game came to play there.
After you have been trained and become confident in your screening and treatment skills you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the vast number of sleep apnea patient resources.  Build your field and they will come.
These are just a few of the sources available to you:
  • word gets around that you are the sleep doctor and new patients will seek you out
  • your patient base will produce enough candidates to keep your schedule filled  
  • you will be developing a network of healthcare professionals that will send you patients
  • patients you have treated will be referring their family and friends
Success in Dental Sleep Medicine, unlike in other ventures, does not have to be long and drawn out. If you focus on all the “little things“ and stay dedicated you will reach your objective in a few months.
Studies reveal OSA is prevalent. 
-A 2015 study in Switzerland reported 50% of men and 23% of women had at least moderate OSA.1
-In 2002, the Sleep Heart Health study found that 24% of men and 9% of women have at least mild OSA.2

-In the Wisconsin Sleep Study Cohort, it was reported that 10% of men and 3% of women age 30 to 49 have at least moderate OSA, while 17% of men and 9% of women age 50 to 70 have at least moderate OSA.

-Over 50% of children diagnosed with ADHD suffer from sleep apnea
-According to a Harvard health report there are 18.9 million undiagnosed cases of obstructive sleep apnea and 40% (1.3 million) of CPAP users are non-compliant. So that alone conservatively projects 20.2 million victims of obstructive sleep apnea who may be helped by a dentist trained in Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). 
-OSA is highly underrecognized, and it is estimated that 82% of men and 93% of women in the United States with OSA are undiagnosed.4
Is there any better opportunity today in dentistry?
Are you ready to build your field of dreams?
Write me with any questions at cskdoc@aol.com.
References
  1. Heinzer R, Vat S, Marques-Vidal P, et al. Prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing in the general population: the HypnoLaus study. Lancet Respir Med. 2015;3(4):310-318.
  2. Young T, Shahar E, Nieto FJ, et al; for the Sleep Heart Health Study Research Group. Predictors of sleep-disordered breathing in community-dwelling adults. Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(8):893-900.
  3. Peppard PE, Young T, Barnet JH, Palta M, Hagen EW, Hla KM. Increased prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing in adults. Am J Epidemiol. 2013;177(9):1006-1014.
  4. Young T, Evans L, Finn L, Palta M. Estimation of clinically diagnosed proportion of sleep apnea syndrome in middle-aged men and women. Sleep. 1997;20(9):705-706.

MALLAMPATI EXAM

Are you concerned about Obstructive Sleep Apnea?  You should be because it is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed.
 

Here is a simple yet accurate diagnostic test you can use to see the opening of your airway.

Stand in front of a mirror and protrude your tongue. Aim a light toward the back of your mouth.
Is your airway open like the diagram on the left? You are safe.
SIZE DOES MATTER
If your airway is obstructed by the base of your tongue, or a droopy soft palate, or from side to side by the pillars or tonsils, then this should concern you.
WHAT IS OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (apnea=without breath) occurs while you are at sleep and not even aware of it. (Your bed partner may be well aware of your symptoms.)  During an apnea event you will not be able to inhale for 10 seconds and even up to a full minute until your body forces an autonomic response: your tongue will push forward in an attempt to open the airway, your teeth will gnash and grind.  When you are awake you may be able to see these signs in your mouth but you are unaware while asleep.
This dangerous cycle may repeat throughout your night and it may average 30 such episodes per hour. A severe case of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) could produce 240 episodes during an eight hour sleep. This is not uncommon.
Imagine how much life-supporting oxygen is being transported to your heart, your brain, and other organs. Well-known mental effects of OSA are chronic daytime fatigue, irritability, confusion, inability to concentrate, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
High blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks are also connected to OSA.
FOR DENTISTS:
If you want to learn about the treatment protocol, case planning, insurance coverage, and the rewards, I strongly recommend this 2 day, 16 CEU course for dentists and hygienists. Dates and cities here:        http://join.sleepgroupsolutions.com/seminars/
By registering with this promo code CK200 you will save $200 off the cost of the tuition and bring a hygienist tuition-free,  In this website you’ll see the cities and dates for this training course.
Add a valuable service to your resume’ free of charge.
You will receive the same benefits as your dentist including 16 CE units.
Help your doctor treat patients that have Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

MALLAMPATI EXAM

Why You will want to do this:

-Free attendance at this important training seminar.
Learn how to screen and treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
-16 CEUs -FREE
-Have a key role in your practice as a sleep coordinator. 
-Increased value to your practice
-Potential of greater income for you
-A more relaxed patient service
-Admiration by your peers for your leadership.
-Respect from your patients for helping them with a needed medical service.
-The great feeling of knowing that you are truly saving lives.

 


This offer is valid only through August 31, 2019.

Eligible Dental Assistants may also qualify.

Email or IM me for a list of locations and dates of this tuition-free course.  Cskdoc@aol.com
 
Charles Kravitz, DDS
Professional Relations Director
Sleep Group Solutions
Here’s one example of what will be learned in this Omaha Dental Sleep Medicine course.
The Mallampati exam is a very useful test that anyone can do to determine the likelihood of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
The  Mallampati Score is an effective indicator of a compromised airway.   The subject can be sitting or standing with a vertical axis of their body and head.  As long as the tongue is protruding we are able to see the airway. The variables are, above, the soft palate and uvula, laterally the walls of the fauces (or the tonsils and adenoids), and below, the base of the tongue.
The tongue is the most common offender for obstructive sleep apnea. Macroglossia can be effectively dealt with by oral appliance therapy- a mandibular advancement device (MAD).
Your Sleep Coordinator or Hygienist can do this exam. Class III and IV must be treated.

This is all taught in the Omaha Dental Sleep Medicine course.

Register for it here:   http://join.sleepgroupsolutions.com/seminars/omaha-ne-2/#axzz5L30Qyh9D

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This is a MUST attend for any dental office that is looking to implement a Sleep Protocol, or learn how to increase existing Sleep revenues.

Day 1

● Sleep 101 – sleep stages, disorders and the need for sleep apnea treatment

● Sleep apnea symptoms/clinical issues

● Improving Case Acceptance – Treating snoring and sleep apnea in a dental office.

● Prepare overnight home sleep study for select course attendees

● Hands on with Pharyngometer / Rhinometer for airway testing

● Working with Sleep Physicians and Building relationships with local MD’s

Day 2

● Download previous night’s Home Sleep Tests study and review study data and sleep report with class

● Dental Sleep Medicine step-by-step protocol flow chart

● Oral Appliance Pro’s & Con’s: Dorsal, Herbst, EMA, TAP, Panthera, and SomnoMed

● Case presentations and How to Market a Sleep Practice

● Review of the latest codes, fees, procedures with medical billing and Medicare.