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Brett BrockiIt takes a team to succeed in Dental Sleep Medicine. The path to treatment requires each member of the team to play their part, guiding the patient to the dentist who can provide treatment. Think about it – for every patient you see each day, your team will have 3 interactions with them: at check in, during cleaning and at billing. Each of these team members has a vital part to play in providing sleep medicine. With a coordinated effort, every qualifying patient can be screened, tested and treated.

The Key to Success

You’ve heard this before, but what does it mean? Do you really want your team pestering each patient about sleep in every interaction?  Done incorrectly, that is exactly what will happen. Directly asking every patient about sleep may produce a few patients in the short run, but will end up annoying people and worst of all – feeling insincere. But I’m going to let you in on a secret here: the key to a successful sleep practice is total wellness – specifically the connection between sleep and total wellness. And it begins with your team.

The Total Wellness Mindset

It begins with educating your team about sleep and total wellness. Talk to your team about the role of sleep in wellness so they can engage patients. If your office reorients around wellness, you will screen more patients, treat more patients and positively affect more lives. When your team is focused on total wellness, the opportunities to help your patients will present themselves naturally. The focus on wellness needs to be sincere. Start by getting your team healthy. Help them understand how diet, exercise and sleep affect their own performance and how they feel everyday. A happy, healthy team will be in a better position to counsel your patients about wellness. They will have personal stories to relate to patients, making the advice and the connection with patients both personal and sincere.

Sleep plays a key role in total wellness. Good sleep heals and rejuvenates your body, leaving your immune system ready to handle everything from seasonal allergies to more serious illness. Sleep helps your body repair itself. Good sleep prepares you for the day, improving energy and mood. Nutrition and exercise, key pillars of wellness, also play a role in sleep health. You probably already talk to your patients about making good food choices to protect their teeth, adding wellness to the conversation strengthens this plea.

So the secret is really no secret at all. Get your team healthy. Talk to them about the importance of sleep to overall wellness. A happy, healthy team will be the best ambassadors of sleep health. They can engage patients sincerely with confidence from a place of knowledge and experience.


Brett Brocki is Founder and CEO of DreamSleep and N3Sleep.

Originally published in Dental Sleep Insider, March 2017

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