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Having your team members on board is critical to implementing a successful sleep program in your

No matter what new technology, service or program you decide to implement into your practice, you must have team buy-in to be successful.

If team members aren’t excited about the possibilities a new Dental Sleep Medicine program offers, for example, they won’t be motivated to do their part to help the program grow. Patients will notice this lack of enthusiasm, making them less likely to move forward with the related treatment you recommend and to benefit from the new life-changing services your practice offers.

It can be difficult for team members to embrace change, so how can you get them excited about implementing Dental Sleep Medicine, a therapeutic field that uses custom made oral appliances to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and sleep related breathing disorders, in your practice? Follow these tips.

1. Educate them on the dangers of untreated OSA for your patients

OSA is a huge problem in the United States, affecting 20 to 30% of Americans. In fact, there’s an estimated 70 million who suffer from sleep apnea but have no idea it’s behind their poor sleep and various health problems, including diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Getting a proper diagnosis and treatment will give these patients relief from the symptoms they experience and improve their health—possibly even save their lives.

If team members understand the positive impact offering dental sleep medicine can have on your patients, they’ll be much more likely to get behind the new program you’re putting together. Take the time to educate them about the prevalence of sleep disorders and the problems they can cause. Bring it up during one of your monthly meetings and let team members know you’re thinking about adding services to help diagnose and treat harmful sleep disorders.

During the meeting, give team members an opportunity to ask questions about Dental Sleep Medicine. Be sure to let them know the important role they’ll play in implementing the program and educating patients about sleep-related disorders. They’ll leave the meeting excited about their potential contribution and how it can help patients lead better lives.  

2. Dental Sleep Medicine provides opportunities for professional growth

Dental Sleep Medicine provides your team with the opportunity to learn new skills and build a future in an expanding field. Sleep medicine is a growing focus in dentistry and will only continue to increase in importance to your practice. Embracing sleep medicine will give them the skills to achieve their next professional milestone.  

These are benefits you can talk about during that team meeting or one-on-one. Be sure to get input from every team member and ask how they’d like to contribute. Let them know you value their opinion and want them to take ownership of their role in the program. This will generate excitement among team members that will only grow as you start to see more and more patients suffering from OSA and other sleep-related disorders.

3. Invest in comprehensive training

Talking with team members once during a meeting or even one-on-one is a good start, but isn’t enough to prepare them for implementing a Dental Sleep Medicine program in your practice. You need to take it a step further and enroll everyone in comprehensive training. Offering proper training will give them the confidence and skills they need to help you build a successful program, as well as allow them to better understand why dental sleep medicine is such a critical service to offer your patients.

Where can you find such training? DreamSleep, a nationwide network of dentists and physicians committed to saving lives affected by OSA, provides Whole Team training for dentists and their team members. Through this program, the entire team will learn how to successfully implement the new protocols necessary to add Dental Sleep Medicine to a practice.

The whole-team training approach helps ensure every team member understands the benefits adding this program brings to your patients as well as their role in its success. It also will ensure all team members deliver a consistent message when talking to patients about comprehensive screenings and other sleep-related services the practice will soon provide.

Through the DreamSleep Comprehensive Program, doctors get full access to the online course along with up to five team members. Have a larger team? No worries. Additional logins are available so you can get everyone trained and excited to implement your new sleep program.

Team members can complete the program online at their own pace, earning 16 CE. Training includes personalized coaching from DreamSleep Instructor Stan Jones. Everyone gets personalized feedback and finishes the course ready to support your practice’s new sleep program.

Make it a team effort

Once you decide to add a Dental Sleep Medicine Program to your practice, it’s important to get your team involved right away. Let them know about the benefits it will bring your patients and your practice, and about the training that will prepare them to confidently talk to patients about sleep-related services. Get them excited about the possibilities, and you’ll set yourself up for a successful implementation and program.

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