Dental Sleep Medicine is the closest thing to practicing medicine any non-oral surgeon dentist will get. More and more dentists every day are taking up the challenge of helping their patients breathe better during sleep. Membership in the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine has grown by double digits each year, the calendar is crowded with courses in how to make oral appliances, dentists are finding the rewards that come with this area of practice stimulating and whole office teams are being reshaped to learn new skills.
So is this right for you? I’m going to assume that since you have found your way to Sleep Scholar, you are at least interested in this field. Perhaps you have begun making appliances after some basic education. Maybe you seek that first opportunity for helping a person live longer. It’s possible you are intimidated by the breadth of knowledge required and want assurance that you know enough to help.
Over the years of my practice, I have been the extremely fortunate recipient of hundreds of hours of expert instruction, well-founded advice, and individual coaching by dentists and others I’m happy to have had as mentors along the way. A passion for passing along the wisdom learned has created chances to meet with other individual dentists, study clubs, dental institutes, regional and national dental meetings to share what I’ve assimilated.
Sleep Scholar is a new venture for me to offer what I’ve learned, engage with interested parties, and facilitate improvement in the practice of dental sleep medicine. While I’ve had years of experience and read more articles than I could count, the fact I am most sure of is that I don’t come close to ‘knowing everything’ and the second point I will always make is that almost everyone knows something I don’t, with many people knowing much that I look forward to hearing about. Still, I’ve found it quite valuable over the years to gather up a group of interested people and create an environment where we learn from each other. I can claim some skills in helping folks accept what they do know, share it with others, and in the process gain confidence to put that knowledge to action, gaining wisdom along the way.
Perhaps you will find the upcoming essays helpful. I pledge to stay committed to present clinically oriented information that is based on the ever-growing body of published evidence. We can’t practice medicine without applying what we know to the individual patient sitting with us, so the artistry lies in taking that evidence and distilling it down to choosing an action for one person. Therein lies the beauty of being a doctor – evidence supports how we choose to apply our skills.
Shall we learn together?