When it comes to sleep medicine every patient is different and treatment needs to be individualized to optimize success, which can add to an already complicated process. Integrating a successful dental to medical collaboration between dentists and physicians ensures that patients have the best quality care possible.

An example of a great inter-disciplinary relationship is that of Jonathan Lown MD, D. AASM, and Arthur Feigenbaum DMD, D. who work together in a full facility sleep center. Dr. Lown and Dr. Feigenbaum have worked side by side for nine years and know firsthand the importance and complexities of collaboration.

We sat down with Dr. Feigenbaum recently to ask his opinions on the inner workings of an MD-DDS relationship:

1. What initially drew you to treating patients suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

“My story is different from most. I became involved in treating OSA because my PCP was a boarded sleep physician who was interested in providing oral appliances to his sleep patients. He asked me to work in his office with him and I saw an opportunity to expand my practice.”

2. What are the most common communication difficulties you’ve experienced in the physician and dentist relationship?

“As far as communicating, he is very helpful and knowledgeable about OAT. I suppose the most difficult thing is to catch him when he is not too busy. In the past, it was difficult to show him the advantages of such things like combination therapy that were not substantiated in the literature, but we have overcome that over time.”

3. If you could offer only one tip to other sleep physicians and dentists who are looking for a referral relationship for sleep patients, what would it be?

“One tip- develop good relationships with your referring physicians. Collaboration is the key to treating patients successfully. Work as a team and treat the patient jointly.”

Dr. Lown and Dr. Feigenbaum have spent years improving their inter-disciplinary relationship, and will share more of their insights on protocol for communication, collaboration, common goals, and documentation in Nierman Practice Management’s complimentary webinar: Dentist & Physician Relationships for Sleep, on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at 8 pm eastern (7 pm central, 5 pm pacific)

Nierman Practice Management has decades of experience providing continuing education for dental sleep medicine. With hundreds of 5-star reviews from successful practices, NiermanPM can help you grow your practice. If you’re interested in the inter-disciplinary relationships, don’t miss out on our summer CE course, “Sleep Medicine for the Dentist: Physician Collaboration & Referrals,” in Denver, CO on July 10-11, 2020.