CPAP should always be offered as a gold standard treatment, especially in patients with severe
sleep apnea. In patients who have been pre-
scribed an oral appliance, dentists should be
aware of the benefits of pharyngometry and
rhinometry to properly assess the airway and
measure the efficacy of the appliance.
Initial and follow-up sleep studies should be
conducted to evaluate the apnea-hypopnea index
(AHI) with the appliance in place. There should
be continued communication between the den-
tist and physician during the course of treatment.
Patients should always be encouraged to see their
physician for continuing care, as well as to moni-
tor and treat comorbidities. When this proper
protocol is followed, treatment is safe and effective, and quality of life is improved.
Dentists who choose to be involved in sleep
medicine must follow all guidelines of treating
OSA patients. They have the ethical responsibil-
ity to provide proper referrals and follow-up care.
Enforcement that dentists follow these guide-
lines, rather than revoking privileges to order
sleep studies, will hold providers to a higher
standard of care while also considering the pa-
tients who can benefit from the streamlined
diagnosis that dentists can provide.
The health-care system is making progress in
reducing the number of undiagnosed and untreated OSA cases. This is being done through
increased awareness of the condition, continued
improvements of home sleep tests, polysom-
nography, pharengometry, rhinometry, and cotreatment between dentists and physicians. This
will ultimately lead to enhanced collaborative
care and healthier, happier patients.
1. Watson NF. Health care savings: the economic value
of diagnostic and therapeutic care for obstructive
sleep apnea. J Clin Sleep Med. 2016; 12( 8):1075-1077.
2. Kapur VK, Auckley DH, Chowdhuri S, et al. Clinical
practice guidelines: diagnostic testing of OSA. J Clin
Sleep Med. 2017; 13( 3):479-504.
ASHLEY SPOONER, DDS,
graduated from University of
Colorado School of Dental
Medicine. She owns a
PDS-supported practice in
Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Dr.
Spooner is a subject matter
expert on patient and team
retention and serves as a
faculty member for the PDS Institute. She can be
THE POWER OF IMAGERY
Continued from p. 65
should be a priority. Remember, impressions provide brand visibility,
but engagement leads to conversions.
• Optimize for each patient—Some patients will love being part
of your Facebook Page community and will ask questions there.
Others prefer e-mail and can be reached with monthly newsletters
that encourage them to visit your practice’s blog. Find out what your
patients prefer (e.g., receiving appointment reminders via text message or via e-mail) and customize their content experiences.
Creating a pool of patients who are informed, engaged, and en-
thusiastic can only be accomplished if you bring your content creation
process into harmony with your practice’s social media presence and
overall marketing strategy. Formulating messaging that is fresh,
consistent, and tailored for the best individual experience is the key
1. Content marketing trends: 80% of consumers forget content within a few
days. NetImperative website. http://www.netimperative.com/2017/04/
Published April 25, 2017. Accessed April 27, 2017.
2. Lieberman M. How many times do prospects need to see your stuff before
they buy? Square2Marketing website. https://www.square2marketing.com/
before-they-buy. Published April 14, 2014. Accessed April 27, 2017.
3. Jackson S. Brand consistency: Why it’s so important and how to achieve it.
ClearVoice website. https://www.clearvoice.com/brand-consistency-why-its-so-important-how-to-achieve-it. Published July 21, 2016. Accessed April
RECONCILING CONTENT CREATION
Continued from p. 40
work is complete. The ability to show—rather than tell—patients their
expected results is especially important when discussing cosmetic
dentistry procedures such as veneers, orthodontics, and implants.
Patients really love the smile design process because they feel like
they are in control. A major source of patients’ dental fears stem from
the loss of control they experience once they sit in the chair. Our Smile
Design Studio makes going to the dentist a collaborative process with
equal parts give and take to make everyone feel at ease. The practitioner
is able to walk patients through the treatment plan and answer any
questions they may have. This workflow has proven successful because
it empowers patients with knowledge of what is to come so they can
set their expectations accordingly.
After reflecting on my informal survey’s results, it would be easy to
conclude that patients love images—that they like cool, Jetson-like technology for the sake of it. But to make that conclusion would be to miss a
larger truth. It is said that images are worth a thousand words, and I think
that’s particularly true in dentistry. CBCT images or digital impressions
provide patients with information in an unfamiliar, often intimidating
environment. They set the stage for a practitioner’s diagnosis and facilitate
communication between the dentist and patient. This type of collaboration
builds trust and loyalty, the cornerstones to any successful practice.
MAGED EL-MALECKI, DMD, received his degree from
Boston University in 2002 and currently practices in both
Boston and Dubai. He is a general dentist with a strong focus
on patient education in every procedure. Dr. Malecki is also
an active member of the Academy of General Dentistry, the
Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, and the
American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.