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Staff Training

Part of every successful and thriving dental practice is training your staff to be a part of a culture that celebrates good oral health. Dental assistants, hygienists, and even front desk staff should all be aware of the many opportunities they will have to encourage good oral health from the moment a patient walks through the door.

For example, if your receptionist notices a patient chewing on ice from a beverage cup as she waits for her appointment, we would hope that staff member is comfortable telling the patient how harmful ice can be to tooth enamel, (or at least passing the task on to a dental hygienist). The same culture of casual opportunities for health-based conversations is even more critical when we talk about sleep health.

To learn more about staff training for sleep medicine success, call us today at 209-527-1995 to arrange a phone consultation with one of our experienced staff members.

Initiating Conversations About Sleep Health

Just as you train your whole staff to know the basics of good oral hygiene, you also need your staff to be prepared to take advantage of every opportunity to have conversations with patients about sleep health. As with many other aspects of this unique medical/dental field, there are few sources that can help you direct these conversations. Luckily, we’ve learned what works, and will provide you with explicit guidance on training your staff.

If your goal is establishing a lasting sleep medicine program, the whole office needs to be on board. Increasing sleep health awareness among staff leads to more conversations, and many more chances to learn about sleep problems and how they may manifest in the normal course of patient interactions.

Primarily, this consists of educating your staff on the many possible signs of sleep breathing disorders, and giving them the language they need to talk to patients calmly and casually. Because sleep disorders are not traditionally part of the dental office experience, many patients will not automatically be forthcoming with their sleep-related symptoms. Therefore, all staff need to know how to answer patient questions about sleep breathing disorders, as they might come up in any context of the patient experience.

What We Offer

As a standard part of our services, staff training includes:

  • general sleep health education for your staff,
  • preferred topics and language for conversations with patients,
  • scripts for educating patients as to why they are at risk, and
  • how to recognize the subtle signs of sleep disorders when assessing overall patient health.

Opportunities to discuss sleep health with patients start with the very first “how are you doing today?” and continue into any discussion of diet, medications, and overall health. Since the effects of obstructive sleep apnea can range into so many aspects of overall mind and body health—your staff needs to know what to be aware of, and how to proceed when red flags present themselves.

Training your staff on sleep health will increase your ability to identify patients whose symptoms may have been overlooked or swept under the rug by their primary care physicians. Given the current epidemic of sleep breathing disorders, we who choose to focus on dental sleep medicine want to take every opportunity to help these patients in need. We’ll make sure your whole office has the knowledge and the tools to do this!

To learn more about staff training for sleep medicine success, call us today at 209-527-1995 to arrange a phone consultation with one of our experienced staff members.


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