Gary M. Radz, DDS, makes a few suggestions for dentists interested in offering these types of products to their patients.
After years of snoring himself?and hearing a dental presentation on sleep apnea?Radz decided to take the leap into the field. His subsequent courses on the subject helped teach him the basics. He was also pleased that he had convinced his partners to join him: this allowed them to create a consistent message to their patients.
They began including an Epworth Sleep Survey as part of returning patient updates. Hygienists discuss any sleep issue with patients who score high on the survey then let the dentist know when he needs to have a discussion with the patient.
Because a primary care physician is required to prescribe a sleep appliance, his office would make a copy of the sleep survey then instruct patients to go to their physician. There they could discuss the possibility of getting a sleep study. After they started that, it wasn?t long before patients began returning with prescriptions from their doctors for oral sleep appliances.
Other methods of promotion included starting a website dedicated to sleep apnea and finding those patients that found no success in CPAP therapy. CPAP compliance is low, so it was logical that they would search for other methods of dealing with their sleep apnea.
Using these methods, his practice grew to an average of 8 to 10 apnea patients a month. As a result, he has needed to dedicated 1 of his dental assistants to that part of his business.