We all know that Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders are a silent health epidemic that is touches…
On June eleventh, 2015, one day before my 61st birthday, I treated my last patient and retired from dentistry.
Yes, 61 is young for retirement, but for many years I had suffered from Degenerative Disc Disease in my lower back, which made my job difficult and painful. After enduring various treatment methods — each of which provided little or no relief — I faced two options: I could subject myself to a no guarantee, invasive surgery, or I could close the doors to my practice of thirty-five years.
While my days of leaning over patients had ended, I found myself unwilling to accept retirement; I wanted to remain productive and continue to contribute to the dental field. After all, thirty-five years of knowledge and experience were worth a great deal, and I didn’t want to watch them go to waste.
I set out researching various career paths for dental consulting, but came up empty-handed — it seemed like everywhere I looked, the job required me to act as a part-time dentist, leaning over patients once again.
Finally, a good friend directed me to the world of dental sleep medicine, a subject I knew little about. My exposure to the topic during my career consisted of brief interactions with my doctor: “Hey doc, my wife has been telling me that I snore really loud. I hear that dentists can make a mouthpiece to fix that. Can you help me?”
I have no doubt most of us have experienced this.
Soon after meeting with my friend, I began researching dental sleep medicine and respiratory sleep disorders, and the role that dentists and their staff play in combatting this epidemic. I learned I could contribute to the field I loved and make a difference doing something worthwhile. While I wasn’t sure where to begin, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
Attending the Introductory Course presented by Dental Sleep Solutions was enlightening: it tied many points together and inspired me to learn. Now, I am certain that I am on the right path.
To be continued…
Roy Novick is the National Clinical Trainer and Advisor for N3Sleep. After 35 years practicing dentistry, Dr. Novick helps dental practices across the country implement effective, successful dental sleep medicine programs.
Originally published in Dental Sleep Insider Magazine, July 2016