Create a Culture of Success

Me.  I. I try not to use either of those words, yet here I do it again…and again.  How do you turn Me and I into WE? The answer is delegation, cooperation, and training.

My business consultant made a comment to me the other day that got my attention.  Afterall, I do pay him each month; Rhonda says I should at least listen to what he says with an open ear.   “One great employee is worth three good ones.” My first thought was yeah, right. Then he went on, “How come I can consult two businesses that do the exact same thing; they have the same number of employees; yet one of those businesses does $8M a year and the other only does $2M?”

It’s the employees.  It’s YOUR employees.   Do you engage them in your DSM practice?   Do you let them interact with the patients?  Within the bounds of your state dental board, do you allow each of them to do as much as possible?  Or are you like most dentists, micromanaging your team and constantly looking over their shoulder? I hope not!

Here’s a quote from Herb Kelleher, perhaps you’ve heard of him; he’s the guy who started Southwest Airlines. “We have a strategic plan.  It’s called doing things.”

Strive to build a stellar team who engages a patient, each at some point along the preferred path, from the first phone call, to tracking down sleep studies, to verifying insurance benefits, to getting the Rx/LOMN, to scanning, to follow up, etc.  You are only as successful as your team.


Strive to be the best you can be

Assemble the BEST team possible

Be proactive; Be smart; Be efficient

Play Inside the Box

Did you have a sandbox when you were a kid? Some nice clean sand mixed with a little water and some of mom’s Tupperware, all the ingredients to build an awesome castle.  For reasons to complex to figure out, this got me thinking about titrating our dental devices. Remember the envelope of function as taught in freshman dental school, and that from a full protrusive position you lose the ability to move forward as you open more? You do recall that, right?

IWhen you think about what you have control over with OAT, it’s not much; the fit, the vertical, and the protrusion. So all your perfectly fitted device needs now is the correct vertical and protrusive position. Therein lies the challenge.

Imagine placing a dot on the lower incisor, open a little; move the jaw forward as far as you can; open a few millimeters more and then move the jaw back all the way. There you have it. Our final treatment position will be somewhere within that rectangle. I’ve heard it called many things, but “Drake’s Box” seems to have a musical ring to it, don’t you think?”

So, until I have littered that box with multiple points, I do not concede that a dental device “just isn’t working.” Armed with this knowledge, be sure to pass that along every time you do a lunch and learn for a physician. Just yesterday I said to an MD, “I’m pretty good at helping the patient find the sweet spot, but often times I need more than a single guess.” Only allowing the patient to test at a single jaw position is like having a CPAP machine that is stuck on 7cm of H2O. Please don’t tell the patient that it’s not working. Instead, explain that we simply need to adjust her device. Don’t be afraid to pick up a pen and draw Drake’s Box (hoping that with repetition it’ll catch on!) and explain this to your patients, to physicians, NPs and PAs.

In summary, the best advice I can pass on for now:

  • Less vertical is more comfortable, but MOST people require more vertical
  • Large tongues and males require more vertical
  • Mouth breathers require more vertical
  • Elastics and chin straps are aids to control the vertical
  • Sometimes, opening vertical is ALL you need to do
  • If you start at 70% of max, you’ve gone too far
  • Some patients do better with less protrusion
  • Slow, slow, slow titration is the key
  • No cats allowed in Drake’s Box!

Discover How DS3 Can Help You Become Successful at Dental Sleep Medicine!

You want to make DSM an integral part of your practice. Schedule your consultation today. No pushy sales people. No hidden agendas. We just want to learn about the current role of DSM in your practice, your goals, and determine if DS3 can help. Join 1k other dentists as a DS3 Member before May 5th and get special introductory savings.

Schedule Your FREE Consultation!

Wondering how DS3 can help guide you to your goal to implement Dental Sleep Medicine, do more of it, help more patients, and increase production? Well, just hear what your colleagues have to say – check out these testimonial videos!

HST: A Welcome

Let’s discuss the 3 primary ways you can use Home Sleep Testing (HST) in your practice:

  1. Utilize your own HST device
  2. Identify an HST company and utilize their system for referral
  3. Refer to a local MD who has HST

There are pros and cons to each of these options. Whichever method you use, dentists should be screening patients, and we should be using home sleep tests as titration methods for patients that we treat with OSA.

Watch the video below to learn more about Home Sleep Test methods!

Overcome Dental Sleep Medicine Obstacles

Setting goals is a part of life. Obstacles on the path are a part of life, too.  Let’s just face it. It’s how we choose to view and deal with these obstacles that will determine how and if we overcome them.  When a dental practice makes a commitment to add Dental Sleep Medicine (DSM) to its list of services it’s important to understand that will obstacles might surface, and there are ways to move past them.  There is no obstacle large enough that it should prevent any dental practice from offering this life saving treatment. Control what you can control and minimize barriers. There will likely be enough of them with insurance or difficult patients.

Here are a few tips to help prepare a team in advance of encountering DSM-related obstacles.

  1. Education: Do this together as a team. It is essential to provide everyone with a foundation on which they can grow together. Understanding the clinical aspects of DSM is just as important as understanding all the processes involved with a successful DSM practice.  Before the team starts talking about Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) with patients, an education plan needs to be established.. This education can be done remotely or live in person. Or both. It just needs to be done TOGETHER.
  2. Coaching: Ongoing coaching and support for the dental sleep team is vital to success. If the dentist is solely responsible for DSM in the practice, it will create a road block. DSM is largely team-driven. It takes a village. Be sure to team up with an organization that provides continual, ongoing coaching to help with everything from clinical aspects of DSM to case presentation and medical billing.
  3. Software: DSM has a lot of moving parts. Using a software developed especially for DSM in a dental practice will allow streamlining of all the processes and allow the team to stay organized so nothing falls through the cracks.  From screening tools to electronic medical billing, make sure the software is cloud-based, simple and easy for the team to use.
  4. Support: This includes utilizing a 3rd party medical biller to manage the medical billing process. Let the experts handle the medical billing. The nominal fees most charge are worth your team’s sanity and time.  Who better to help overcome DSM medical billing obstacles than an experienced medical biller who specializes in billing for DSM for dental practices?

To get started on the right path, contact me at 877.95.SNORE x2.  Our industry experts are available to provide all the education, coaching, software, and support to dental practices committed to making DSM a priority.