Think about this-
A Sleep Coordinator in a dental practice asked me, “How do I find sleep apnea patients that I can treat?“
Here’s how I answered her, “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 can help them 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 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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