Where do I begin?

The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine offers a variety of levels of courses to assist you in treatment protocols, from beginners to advanced.

What do I need to get started in treating patients with oral appliance therapy?

While there are a variety of expensive tools that you may purchase, most of what is needed is already in your general practice. I highly recommend a George Gauge to assist in determining the mandibular protrusion which are relatively inexpensive.

What are my responsibilities in treating patients with OSA?

When you start treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, you are a member of the patient’s medical team and it is your responsibility to relate the patient’s treatment to the medical team.

How do I get patients to accept treatment?

With the economic downfall, having a dental sleep medicine practice that is a fee-for-service practice may be a difficult task to implement. Checking benefits for the patient prior to case acceptance and pre-authorizing when necessary is one way of boosting patient acceptance. You may want to consider becoming participating with some insurance companies to assist in patient acceptance.

How much should I charge?

In determining your fee schedule you will have to consider which appliances you are most comfortable with and factor in:

  • lab fee
  • doctor time
  • clinical materials

For example, the west coast will accommodate a higher fee structure while mid-America and the east coast will have a lower fee schedule.

How do I get paid for this?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition that can be treated in the dental office and is paid through the patient’s medical insurance. There is a significant difference between dental and medical insurances and it is important to understand the ins-and-outs of billing medical insurance, it is possible to do so through your practice. There are services available for in-house training to better understand the medical insurance industry. There are also billing services available should you wish to outsource the billing.

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