Daily Archives: February 6, 2017

How One Dentist Saw Opportunities to Transcend Dentistry’s Limits

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Dr. Avi Weisfogel, a prominent NJ dentist, had always suffered from a nagging sensation that dentistry could go beyond its traditional limitations and incorporate aspects of medicine normally reserved for the general practitioner.

Dr. Weisfogel knew that many patients who presented at the dentist’s office often did so not because they were overly conscientious about adhering to a salutary routine of preventive health but because they viewed their problem as needing immediate treatment. While it’s easy to postpone a colonoscopy or a routine physical, it’s simply impossible to postpone an abscessed tooth or a painful cavity. For this reason, dentists often see patients every year. These same patients may not even see their physician once a decade.

Dr. Weisfogel knew that this has major implications for the treatment of any disease which dentists may be in a position, as trained medical professionals, to detect. Many diseases, such as esophageal cancer or even alcoholism, which dentists are in a position to catch, have such vastly better outcomes when caught and treated early that the difference can, quite literally, be between life or death. Dr. Weisfogel, thus, set out to research all of the most under-diagnosed ailments that dentists could potentially begin detecting and treating, adding value to their practice and years to patients’ lives.

After researching the problem for a number of years, Dr. Weisfogel came across the problem of sleep apnea. The disease, he learned, went undiagnosed in over 95% of patients who suffered from it and was associated strongly with nearly every major cause of mortality in the U.S., including heart attack, stroke, diabetes and even fatal traffic accidents. Dr. Weisfogel thought that deploying an army of dentists trained in the combat of this disease could radically alter the dismal statistical picture of its prevalence and legality. He founded Dental Sleep Master to create an army of dentists for just this purpose.

Since 2011, Dental Sleep Masters has trained the best and brightest of the dental profession from coast to coast how to identify and treat this deadly disease. Avi Weisfogel, through these contributions, has transformed the practice of medicine in the United States, saving countless lives in the process.