The American Sleep and Breathing Academy’s (ASBA) concluded a very successful 6th annual meeting April 21-22 in Phoenix AZ. This year’s highly anticipated conference, exceeded expectations, with a record number of registrations, as well as a very strong speaker program the conference garnered fantastic reviews from attendees, exhibitors and other industry professionals who attended. The conference began Thursday, April 20, with a full day review course for candidates preparing for the board exam. Dr. Kevin Mueller, a professor at Midwestern University, was lead instructor for dentists preparing to sit the American Board of Sleep and Breathing’s (ABSB) Diplomate Exam, the following Sunday, April 23rd. The review course is considered by previous participants as a must-attend. The ABSB exists to administer a certification program to dentists in dental sleep medicine which is a process that enables them with a higher level of training and certification to treat more patients with oral appliance therapy and positional therapy, in an efficient and cost effective manner as possible.
On the Friday, Congressman Marty Russo, a returning keynote speaker, launched the meeting in the main lecture hall with a compelling presentation about making the case for oral appliance therapy with local government and educating the public about sleep apnea. Megan Cheever explained navigation of medical billing for dentists treating OSA, Dr. Richard Bonato proved compliance in custom oral devices, Cindy White reviewed Medicare requirements for sleep medicine, Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Secretary of Transportation for Highway Safety Alberto Gutier showed sleep apnea as a priority for state government and highway safety, John Nadeau revealed a protocol for reducing time and achieving optimal oral appliance outcomes and Dr. Larry Tilley co-presented with Dr. Bryan Keropian on sleep disorders and the dental patient. Friday concluded with a cocktail mixer including networking with NFL legends and an open bar provided by the ASBA. Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl Champion, Derek Kennard, said, “I love coming to the ASBA meetings. Every doctor I meet is friendly and willing to help. I always learn something new I can take to my football brothers that really help our quality of life immensely. And I can’t forget to mention the cocktail receptions are a blast every time! The guys and I love hearing stories when we mingle with the crowd. And yes, we do sign autographs because the doc’s coming to the meeting to be educated on how to better help their patients’ health are the real MVP’s.”
Saturday, ASBA President Dr. Kent Smith provided his thorough knowledge of working with physicians and establishing yourself as a dental sleep expert. Dr. Paul Van Walleghem explained how credentialing works and what becoming board certified means for the dental sleep medical model. Dr. Neal Seltzer and Gina Pepitone spoke on building the dental sleep dream team and what percent of the practice should be sleep. Dr. Richard Klein displayed TMD and its relation to OSA. Dr. David Singh “wowed” the crowd with his demonstration of non-surgical upper airway remodeling and special guest Dr. Ronald Brown who served as a board director on the American Board of Dental Specialties concluded lectures by presenting dental sleep medicine as a sub-specialty.
The completely sold out exhibit hall was filled during the two day meeting. Sleep Group Solutions’ CEO, Rani Bendavid, was thrilled to be able to attend the meeting. David Gergen credited the entire Sleep Group Solutions staff for bringing energy to the meeting and their booth by engaging attendees the entire duration of day one and day two. Bendavid said, “We sold more product at this meeting than any previous meeting.” Dr. Anthony Scianni complemented the exhibitors who engaged with attendees through the end of both days, saying, “It was refreshing seeing many of the vendors remain in their booths until the end of the conference. The speakers topics were of high value, but we also enjoyed time in the exhibit hall to see the latest innovations from exhibiting industry companies”.
The ASBA annual conference is the only meeting for dental and medical professionals alike where NFL legends, congressmen and some of the most successful sleep experts in the country come to share their experiences and knowledge with members who attend. This unique combination offers an outlook on all aspects of sleep medicine from the patient’s point of view to working with local government to promote awareness and recognition of sleep disordered breathing in the local community. Dr. Clint Blackwood mentioned, “The ASBA sets themselves apart from other organizations in many ways, but what really sticks out to me is how they are able to bring an extensive variety of meaningful topics to their meetings. Other meetings have the same doctors presenting the same topics and I’m able to pick out about 5% of the meeting as new information. I can tell the ASBA prides themselves in being on the forefront of the industry, consistently staying on top of and bringing the newest content to their members.”
Click here to see photos of the ASBA Sleep and Wellness Conference 2017