The Michigan Center for TMJ and Sleep Wellness has earned a reputation as one of the leaders in dental sleep medicine in Michigan. This leads many doctors in the area to refer their patients to us, including sleep physicians and internists. There are many good reasons why internists and other doctors refer their patients to us.
We Can Help Many Types of Internists
Although many internists work in the area of general internal medicine, there are many subspecialties within the discipline. Most of these subspecialties are impacted by sleep apnea, which is why they are looking to refer their patients.
Here are some examples of the common areas where internists need help treating sleep apnea.
Immunologists: Sleep apnea has been linked to chronic inflammation and immune system dysfunction.
Cardiologists: Sleep apnea has serious detrimental effects on a person’s cardiovascular health. However, because sleep apnea is often undiagnosed, people don’t know they have the condition until they experience heart problems, and then a cardiologist refers their patients for treatment.
Endocrinologists: Metabolic disruption is another key danger of sleep apnea. The condition is often linked to diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
Nephrologists: Kidney damage is one of the long-term impacts of sleep apnea. Often secondary to hypertension, this damage can be severe, but hard to treat without also treating sleep apnea.
Oncologists: The link between sleep apnea and cancer is not as well established as some of the other conditions. However, sleep apnea treatment can help patients get more rest and experience better outcomes from cancer treatments.
These are some of the more common internists we work with in our practice, but virtually any internist could have a situation where their patient needs help with sleep apnea.
We Are Great Team Players
But beyond our expertise in sleep apnea, there are many reasons why internists choose the Michigan Center for TMJ and Sleep Wellness for their patients. One of the main ones is that we are team players, first and foremost. This has been one of the founding principles behind the Michigan Center for TMJ and Sleep Wellness.
We are prepared to take the lead in drafting and implementing a sleep apnea treatment plan when necessary. However, we can also follow the lead of other treating doctors. We know how to integrate our treatment approach with others used for sleep apnea and related conditions. We can also be supportive in our feedback: we know how to give constructive insight without undermining the main doctor. It is never our goal to “take over” your patient.
Instead, we know that it’s best for all of us when the patient gets the care they need and can look to all their doctors as heroes.
We Refer Patients to Partners
Sleep apnea can act as a lynchpin condition that causes a cascade of other health problems throughout the body. This means that many of our patients need help from an internist or other type of doctor. In these cases, we are always prepared to refer our patients to our partners.
Reciprocal referrals help patients in our area to get the care they need from a team of qualified doctors with solid working relationships. This leads to smoother procedures and better results for everyone.
We Treat Related Conditions
While sleep apnea has impacts throughout the body, it is also linked to jaw problems, including temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD). About half of all patients with sleep apnea have TMD, and this needs to be treated along with their apnea.
We can help patients manage treatment for both conditions. We also know how to integrate TMD treatment with CPAP and other approaches to dealing with sleep apnea. Plus, we can help patients who don’t have significant apnea, but are looking to treat snoring.
We Offer an Alternative Approach
CPAP is a great treatment for sleep apnea, but many patients simply don’t use it. This means that your patients continue to experience the negative impact of untreated sleep apnea. This can make it harder for you to achieve the treatment goals you’re aiming for.
Oral appliance therapy gives you a way to help these patients. With this approach, you can remove the obstacle of sleep apnea from your patients, helping them to achieve all your treatment goals.
Does Your Patient Need a Sleep Dentist?
If you are an internist with a patient who needs treatment for sleep apnea and/or related conditions, consider the benefits of a sleep dentist. We can help patients who aren’t using their CPAP to finally get treatment for sleep apnea.
If you have a patient you think might benefit from our assistance, please call (248) 480-0085 today to talk to sleep dentist Dr. Jeffrey S. Haddad about referring patients to the Michigan Center for TMJ and Sleep Wellness.