Puget Sound Sleep Scholar Study Club


have many choices for training to treat and snoring. Once the basics are understood, however, there are few options to explore the vast amount of learning needed to achieve mastery.  Puget Sound Sleep Scholar Study Club will give participants the opportunity to expand their understanding of and therapeutic options. The emphasis will always be on practical matters and how to achieve positive outcomes for the patients, the practice, and the dentist-physician relationship.

Introducing medical therapy into a practice creates many opportunities to design systems and create culture. Establishing best practices for medical procedures will give the team confidence and create solid operating systems.  If the dentist intends to seek ABDSM Diplomate status or AADSM Facility Accreditation, work done through the Puget Sound Sleep Scholar Study Club will provide much of the required material.

Meet the Mentors:

Steve Carstensen DDS FAGD, in restorative dental practice since 1983, has been an educator for many years. Since 1996 an invited Visiting Faculty member of the Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education, a guest lecturer for the Pride Institute, speaker at study clubs, regional and national dental conferences, and currently a faculty member of SomnoMed Academy. After completing a four year term on the ADA’s Council for the Annual Session, including chairing the 2010 meeting, he created and became Course Director for the Sleep Course at Pankey Institute. Also serves as Sleep Advisor to Spear Education.

Steve achieved Board Certification by the American Board of in 2006 and has created good working relationships with every sleep physician in the Seattle area.

Randy Clare,  has been involved in the sleep industry since 1993. Randy has been working with Dentists and  Physicians to provide high quality care for their patients. This has required a broad  range of skills  in sales and marketing that will help build any practice. Randy has an intense interest in the diagnosis and treatment of OSA. He has served as mentor of the Scottsdale Study Club in the past and is looking forward to this new group.

Community Meetings

Puget Sound Sleep Scholar Study Club core curriculum will be realized over four modules of two day community meetings with individual practice assignments between events. Since dentists can clearly not achieve excellence without support, involving team members will be part of each community meeting and will have specialized learning opportunities aimed at their areas of responsibility.

This will not be simply another series of lectures.  Peer to peer learning in community is one of the most powerful tools available in education, and PSSSSC will take full advantage of the wisdom in the room to ensure that each participant is given the chance to maximize value for the time and resources committed to involvement.



  • Day One

Participants will establish the goals of the community and individual members.  Requirements of Diplomate achievement and Facility Accreditation will be discussed so practices can begin to choose whether to adopt these benchmarks. We will also discuss how case presentations are put together for this group; assembling patient data in this manner will prepare the attendee for reports necessary for Diplomate application.

A discussion of the medical model and the legal requirements for treating sleep patients, including HIPAA, ICD and CPT coding by appointments necessary.  Medicare protocols, enrollment, and regulations will be detailed.

  • Day Two

The examination process and record keeping for medical patients is significantly different than for dental patients. These details will be examined and practiced within the community.  We will discuss various ways of keeping records and the pros, cons, and experiences of the members with each.

Reading sleep reports provided by the sleep physicians is a key to understanding treatment choices, strategies, and how to measure outcomes. Members will read and discuss several sleep reports until they can extract the necessary data.



  • Day One

Each attendee will present at least one case for group discussion. This will be the safest possible environment to gain confidence in presentation skills and data gathering.  Positive treatment outcome is not required; emphasis will always be on what the team learned during the case and what the community can learn from the discussion. This module will emphasize patient acquisition, entry into the practice, and appliance choice.

Out of Center Sleep Tests are becoming more common in sleep treatment; several devices will be examined and positives and negatives of each can be discussed.

  • Day Two

Members of Puget Sound Sleep Scholar Community will learn to understand PAP therapy. An experienced respiratory therapist will demonstrate various flow generators, masks, and discuss how patients are treated during that phase of therapy. Compliance issues and strategies to increase patient use rates employed by therapists will be discussed.

An important adjunctive therapy to sleep is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  A local physician who spent years as a sleep physician and later became a psychiatrist to help patients with CBT will present the value of having such a practitioner on your sleep team.



  • Day One

Case presentations by each member will generate learning opportunities for the entire community, with an emphasis on dealing with post insertion complications and strategies for dealing with what patients present.  Ongoing case management protocols will be discussed, including understanding when it is appropriate to perform an OCST and when it is best to return the patient to the diagnosing sleep physician.

There will be a unique opportunity to experience .  An overnight sleep test will be arranged with a local accredited sleep lab and attendees will observe hooking up of a sleep patient and subsequent titration on a clinical CPAP device.  On the second night, a patient will have an OA that will be similarly titrated.  Two attendees will be given the opportunity to test an OCST and have the scores interpreted by the technician and the community.  This module will satisfy the requirements of the ABDSM Diplomate application.


  • Day Two

Marketing your sleep practice is key to success.  We will explore as a community what has been successful and not successful in each practice.  Members will bring their marketing materials and share their stories. Outcome of this discussion will include specific steps each member team will take and a timeline for implementation.

Nutrition counseling is an area many sleep patients can benefit from but often find difficult to source. It is challenging for a dental office to add this service, but awareness of what is available may help manage the patient treatment.  A registered nutritionist who is used to working with obese patients and aware of sleep breathing issues will guide a discussion of possibilities.



  • Day One

Each member will bring a case for discussion with an emphasis on patients converted from CPAP to OAT and/or using both therapies in combination, hybrid or alternate.

Medical billing will also be discussed this day, with an experienced medical coder leading the group through some of the details associated with billing and gaining network status.

Pediatric sleep medicine will be presented by a Board Certified sleep physician specializing in this area.

  • Day Two

Sleep Bruxism will be discussed in detail; what is known of the etiology, expression and treatment of this condition so often associated with sleep apnea. TMD and other muscle function disorders will be included. The experience  of community members will be valuable as various treatment strategies are discussed.

The rest of this day will be reserved to wrap up questions in the community about ABDSM Diplomate application and Facility Accreditation requirements, as well as any other topic about best practices that is relevant.


Related posts:

  1. Scottsdale Study Club September and October Dates
  2. Scottsdale Study Club Announces and Sets Dates for Clinical Workshops and Meetings Focused on Dental Treatments of Sleep Disordered Breathing, Bruxism and TMD/Headache
  3. Compumedics Home Sleep Testing System Selected for Use in US National Institute of Health (NIH)-Sponsored Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) Sleep Study

Related Posts