Oral appliance therapy, a practice focused on the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea, is a growing dental specialty that is quickly becoming widely accepted as an effective treatment option for patients, particularly those who cannot - or will not - tolerate a CPAP machine. Dental professionals around the country have adopted dental sleep medicine into their practices as a way of addressing a need for their patients, as well as expanding their revenue generating potential.
If you’re already a Six Month Smiles provider, oral appliance therapy is a perfect complement to enhance your services. Consider these five reasons for incorporating it into your practice:
1. In-Demand Specialty with Few Providers
Both oral appliance therapy and orthodontics through Six Month Smiles are elective certifications that are obtained post-dental school. The relative low number of providers for either specialty reduces competition and increases market base.
2. Low Stress; High Patient Satisfaction
The daily operational cycle of providing oral appliance therapy is very low stress, particularly when compared to the high-stress, high-demand routine of supporting multiple dental chairs and hygienists. The amount of time you’ll spend with each patient to set up their treatment demands a downtempo pace, which in turn allows you to ensure each patient leaves happy and wellinformed.
3. Increase Patient Loyalty and ChangeLives
Similar to the dissatisfaction felt when a person is unhappy with their smile, the fatigue and stress associated with sleep apnea and sleep breathing disorders has quite an impact on a person’s quality of life and confidence. Furthermore, most patients have suffered for an extended period of time and have tried multiple treatments prior to coming to us. The relief a patient experiences through oral appliance therapy has life-changing outcomes: relationships improve as both partners are able to get quality sleep, a person’s vitality and productivity are restored, and the risk of patients suffering from a number of serious health concerns is reduced or even eliminated.
4. High Production per Hour
Much like a dentist with multiple hygienists, a dental sleep specialist has the ability to see multiple patients simultaneously with the help of supporting sleep assistants. That fact, coupled with the insurance reimbursement value of each appliance, makes oral appliance therapy a lucrative addition to your practice.
5. New Revenue
As with Six Month Smiles, incorporating oral appliance therapy is a simple way to generate additional revenue and increase the lifetime or overall value of a patient. It also provides an opportunity for cross-promotion from multiple angles, depending on the number of services or specialties your practice offers.
For Six Month Smiles providers looking to further diversify, oral appliance therapy may be the perfect complementary specialty for growing a practice. Information about training courses for oral appliance therapy can be found at 21stCenturySleepSeminars.com.
Kent Smith DDS, D-ABDSM, ASBA Six Month Smiles Instructor President, American Sleep and Breathing Academy