There is help for people who snore!

Here it is, August already. Vacations are probably over and the kids are getting ready to go back to school. I hope you had a good summer and were able to take some time to do something other than dentistry.

by Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor

Here it is, August already. Vacations are probably over and the kids are getting ready to go back to school. I hope you had a good summer and were able to take some time to do something other than dentistry.

I think some explanation is in order for this month's cover. Many couples suffer from a significant other who snores at night, and many of these who snore may have undiagnosed sleep apnea. This issue has been covered frequently in past issues of Dental Economics. I feel this is an important issue since many of our patients are unaware of the dangers of a bedmate who frequently snores. Since dentistry has a great recall system and we usually see our patients on a more frequent basis than physicians, I think we should be including questions about sleep apnea on our health history, and providing patient education on treatment of this very real and life threatening disease.

Dr. Gordon Christensen answers the following question from a GP dentist about sleep and dentistry -- There appears to be significantly more interest in sleep medicine than I've seen before. I see ads in newspapers and magazines and hear about this subject on radio and TV. Some of the ads are from sleep clinics, and others are from physicians and dentists. I'm confused. What's the most legitimate source of treatment for sleep problems? Should dentists become involved in sleep medicine? If so, which sleep medicine techniques should dentists incorporate into their practices? You will find Dr. Christensen's answer, beginning on page 34.

I will continue to provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information that is available on the treatment of sleep apnea in both medicine and dentistry.

August is a good time to look ahead to the end of the year. What can you be doing to increase your practice from now to the end of December? On that note, be sure to read, "Tech revolution in dentistry -- Are you ready?" by Drs. Andrew Koenigsberg and Mason Kostinsky for some interesting ideas in terms of new technology.

I am writing this on July 10, and hot weather has finally arrived in St. Louis. During the month of June I attended the Successful Women in Dentistry Conference at the new Pacific Dental Services support office in Irvine, CA. More than 200 women attended the meeting, and they were entertained and educated by some of the smartest and most successful women dentists I've ever met. They learned how proven technologies can provide efficiency, productivity, esthetics, and long-term clinical success for their patients. Perhaps even more importantly, they learned how to achieve life balance in today's hectic dental environment as a successful woman dentist. I sat next to Dr. Mike DiTolla, the only other male dentist in attendance, for some male companionship. It was a great meeting and it looks like PDS will do it again next year.

The last week in June, I was in Orange County, CA, making some calls on our advertisers with a DE sales representative. While I was in the area I drove up to Lompoc, CA, to attend the grand opening of the new DenMat building. They are located between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. It turned out to be a longer drive than I expected, but it was well worth the time. Their beautiful new facility puts all of their operations under one roof, and almost doubles the space they had in their old location in Santa Maria.

Late breaking news -- We should all be interested in statistical information about dental practices. The only problem is that much of the time that information is either months or years after the time something occurred. Vijay Sikka, the founder and owner of Sikka Software, the Practice Optimizer Company, has found a way to give us great practice information about 8,000 dental practices every month. Use this link to see this great information. (http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2013/07/dental-practice-optimizer-prime.html). Also visit www.sikkasoftware.com for more information.

We have an exciting new cover concept for next month, so stay tuned!

Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor
email: joeb@pennwell.com

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