Editor’s Note: This is a challenge for so many dentists. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it 135 times. Sleep in a bustling restorative practice. A few years ago, I asked Dr. Jason Doucette how he manages to treat so many sleep patients while also doing so much restorative dentistry. He looked into his soul and shared, “It’s the struggle of the juggle.” Dr. Doucette is a busy general dentist in Reno, Nevada. He places a lot of implants, creates beautiful smiles, and he’s helped countless patients sleep better and live healthier lives. His commitment to doing the right thing for the right reasons is unparalleled. Dr. Doucette is one of the most sincere, genuine, kind people I’ve ever known.  I’m honored to count him as a friend and to feature him as a guest columnist this week.

While in the throes of a 15-year love affair with implant dentistry and full mouth esthetics, I was introduced to the “foreign” world of dental sleep medicine. Little did I know that this routine CE trip to a Sleep Group Solutions course at Glidewell Dental Laboratory would “wreck” my entire professional paradigm and set me on an entirely new path and passion in dentistry…

My team and I began to screen and treat a few team members and their spouses. Once we saw what we were able to do for those people closest to us by improving their quality of life and saving lives —the journey began, and I knew what I wanted to do for the rest my career.

In the beginning, I wasn’t sure if DSM just be another part of my general dental practice, or if it could grow to become a true “specialty practice” of its own? Due to the high prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea in our little Reno, Nevada community, we have had multiple full time dental sleep medicine assistants seeing DSM patients all day long, every day, for more than five years.

I’m now up against the challenge of trying to keep up with doing dentistry full-time in the face of a successful full-time DSM practice. Most dental sleep medicine practices are run similar to an orthodontic practice. In this setting, the dental team does much of the “hands-on” work within the allowable parameters of each state’s dental statutes and the doctor does all the treatment planning, decision making, and “hands-on” treatment where legally indicated. However, imagine having two more additional “hygiene columns” or “dental emergency columns” full of new and existing patients in your already busy dental schedule that you need to address on an hourly basis. It’s a lot! I refer to it as “The Struggle of the Juggle!”

Mark my words, there is no community large or small, rural, urban, or suburban with a shortage of people of all ages suffering from sleep breathing disorders. Any dentist screening and treating DSM patients in their practice, will surely experience exponential growth in production, new patients, team members, and most importantly, professional satisfaction, far beyond anything bread and butter dentistry has ever offered.

General dentistry is a very hands-on game in most practices while dental sleep medicine is really a thinking dentist’s game. This is the time to ask yourself some questions and really consider the options: what is your vision and what do you want? Because if you get “bit” by the proverbial “sleep bug”, you will quickly find yourself enveloped by “the struggle of the juggle.”

Have a vision for what you want to do because remaining in the “the juggle” too long may prove to be challenging beyond what many would consider effectively workable and enjoyable.

To reduce the struggle and make the juggle more manageable, create and run your DSM practice through a separate LLC, use a DSM software, contract with a reputable third-party medical billing service, acquire the necessary technology, and most importantly, find team “champions” in your office to implement and help run your DSM practice. You can do this. You should do this. Your community needs you. – Dr. Jason Doucette



If you want to spend Feb. 2-3, 2024 with likeminded Dental Sleep Medicine clinicians, then register for the Transform Dental Sleep Symposium that we’re hosting in Scottsdale, AZ. 20+ speakers and panelists sharing an array of actionable insights on practical topics. You’ll have a blast & your practice will improve. It’s that simple. Click here to learn more, register, and book your discounted rooms in the luxurious new venue.

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