Education into a specific topic can be viewed as your desire to grow, diversify your practice, or you may even need credits for licensing. Acquiring dental sleep education is a very specific course of study, and unlike education in general dentistry. Dental sleep is a field where you will interact with physicians, dive into medical billing, review sleep studies from labs and learn habits and patterns of your patients in a more in-depth way than before. As a dentist looking to expand their practice into this field, you should look at several strategies to gain the knowledge needed to focus a portion of your business in treating patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Goal #1: Gain Basic Knowledge
To begin your journey, you should take a course that will target introductory experience, standard OSA terminology and an overview of oral appliances. Speaking to your patients aboutobstructive sleep apnea and available options for oral devices is a first step in treatment. There are online courses that would be a quality first phase for you to obtain an overview of the field, including SomnoMed’s Level 1 Dental Sleep Education. You may also look for courses that will be beneficial to your staff so that they can be integrated into your program. Online continuing education that provides an introduction to sleep dentistry should be no more than 10 credit hours. Implementing dental sleep education in your practice requires that you obtain exposure to the industry through further hands-on education. This will help you make an informed decision about adding dental sleep to your practice.
Goal #2: Going to the Next Level
The next level of dental sleep education should be in-person, and offer an array of classes, so that you will have the necessary foundation to formally start treating patients. Attend courses that will enable you to learn how to read a sleep study, how to screen a patient, and the process of selecting the correct oral appliance. Secondary courses of interest would include billing, training of your staff on dental sleep integration in your practice, and strategic recommendations on partnering with physicians. Any courses you take should offer continuing education credits and be certified by a licensing body. Look for the following qualifications in the classes and instructors of the course you choose:
- The classes you take should be ADA CERP
- The providers should also be members of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
- Courses should be taught by practicing dentists and physicians for the most up to date hands on knowledge
Goal #3: Putting Education into Practice
Once you have attended classes and gained the necessary exposure to the field, you will be ready to begin looking at vendors to partner with to support your plan. The education that you have invested in should help you confidently understand how you will be able to expand your business in this field and start in dental sleep, and your time in preparing will be well-spent on educating yourself to begin treating patients with OSA.
Learn more about how SomnoMed Academy Dental Sleep Education seminars can benefit you, your staff, and your practice when treating patients with OSA by clicking here.