Here we are starting a new year folks- it’s 2020! As I look back on what happened in 2019 I realize that our practice has hit some new highs that really need mentioning. My team and I have helped thousands of people over the years to improve their health and well being and I am extremely proud of my team for making this happen. I feel very blessed to have such a group of people that I call friends, and even family. Together, we have made a positive difference in many, many lives and I am truly thankful they are with me.
And now for 2020: we are going to help more people this year than ever before. I am currently heading to another dental sleep medicine program this coming weekend and it is geared up for both myself and my team members. This is one of those ‘few and far between’ programs that is designed to have the doctors train at reading various graphs and sleep studies while team members learn about how the lack of sleep affects a person’s life and how we can really help them get better.
As for me personally, I am in the middle of my studies to become a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. This is quite a large amount of work. I fly to Boston every couple months, study articles and reports, write a synopsis of everything I study, and I just passed my first exam. This program is being done through Tufts University and already has given me new insights into how to better treat our patients.
One interesting thing that I learned from the Tufts program is that more emphasis needs to be placed on the TMJ and how dental appliances might help or hurt the joints. I have already brought this up with the directors of the program and they are considering making a few changes here and there. I personally believe that the ALF appliance that I use every day is the best course of treatment for sleep apnea because it makes very slow, very gradual changes that improve the shape of the jaws for better breathing. These days, when I deal with sleep apnea patients, I offer them the dental sleep appliance if they just want something to get by for now, or, alternatively, I offer them the ALF appliances to actually fix the apnea. That’s right folks- I am talking about really fixing the apnea situation once and for all. What the ALF does is that it widens the upper and lower dental arches which makes more room for the tongue, and it slowly lowers a high palate which means you can breathe better through your nose. This is really important because nasal breathing promotes the formation of nitric oxide which helps you to heal better.
This year I am planning to teach in a few locations to help spread the word about what our practice does. If all goes well, I will be teaching in Warsaw, Poland, in the fall and plan on showing many of my own cases done in this office. It should be a fun journey and I am quite sure the doctors that I teach will be able to help their patients in a better fashion. Overall, it’s going to be a busy year with much more education and changes in our sleep protocol that will improve more than ever before!