Highland Springs HERALD
701 Highland Springs Avenue, Suite 12 Beaumont, CA 92223 www.tmjandsleepapnea.com babylaser.com 951.769.1616
Collaborating With Colleagues to Help Our Patients It Takes a Village
T his winter, I was overjoyed to learn that I had earned my diplomate status with the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. The past few years have included earning over 300 hours of continuing- education credits, completing a rigorous exam, and presenting case studies to the board to earn this status. So, when I achieved this feat, I looked at my husband and asked, “What’s next?” Teasingly, he replied, “You’re done for a while.” I couldn’t help but laugh because I’ve always loved learning. I know my husband would support me if I wanted to continue my education. But I am taking his advice for now and enjoying this new designation as one of 40 to become a diplomate among California’s approximately 34,000 licensed dentists. My educational exposure to this field and my personal experience with a sleep-medicine journey from the patient’s perspective have given me a great story to tell my colleagues. As dentists, we have a unique opportunity to screen our patients for signs and symptoms during our exams. I love to teach my fellow colleagues what to look for and how to proceed with treatment recommendations. For example, this winter, I was honored to present to an online dental forum, “The Changing Face of Dental Sleep Medicine.” I saw their passion for the topic grow, and we were able to connect on the importance of a team- integration and interdisciplinary approach to treating sleep-disordered breathing with our medical colleagues. This is actually an approach that I’ve found great success with when quarterbacking care for my patients, especially the children. Unlike adults, when we treat children, we are creating a plan for someone who is still developing. This makes their treatment options more promising and complex because the methodologies can affect their physical growth and cognitive development.
I didn’t achieve diplomate status so I could be the one-stop shop for children with sleep disorders. I did it so I could position myself as a tour guide for their journey.
For example, children’s treatment plans for sleep-disordered breathing will often include muscle therapies, orthodontic care, and ear, nose, and throat care. These experts must work together to find solutions that will give the child the best chance for developmental success. After all, it takes a village to raise a child, and it certainly takes one to grow a child’s airway!
I didn’t achieve diplomate status so I could be the one-stop shop for children with sleep disorders. I did it so I could position myself as a tour guide for their journey. I value the village we’ve built, and I feel blessed knowing I have a group of professionals who can offer guidance in their expertise.
–Dr. Jessica Sabo
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