There was an ad for paper and actual books at the bottom of the Business Section in today's New York Times (Apr. 29, 2011).
Sure the Gutenberg Press was remarkable in its time but the Internet reaches many times more people, faster and more efficiently than the word printed on paper could ever do. Imagine what would happen in medicine and dentistry today if all medical journals were available on the Internet at minimal cost instead of having to wait a year or more for the printed version and then having to pay upwards of $40 an article if you don't subscribe.
This ad is an an advertisement out of desperation much like buggy whip manufacturers must have done when the car was introduced or by ice house owners when the refrigerator came into being.
In dentistry, we are doing the same thing today, especially in dental sleep medicine. We advertise in the newspapers, in magazines and even on the web. People do inquire about dental sleep medicine but few, if any, convert to patients despite the fact that, for the most part, treatment will be covered by medical insurance or Medicare. There is a reason this is happening!
Do you want to know what our problem is in the conversion of patients? Dental sleep medicine has been marginalized in the public press. For example, today Michael Breus PhD (the "sleep doctor" who writes for the Huffington Post who also shills for Sleepy's and has his own bed for sale) wrote another article on obstructive sleep apnea and snoring (Apr. 29, 2011).
Not one word about oral appliances, not one. So when a patient who may be interested in oral appliances for his/her mild to moderate sleep apnea reads this, they immediately dismiss OAT.
The sad part is that we, both as individuals and as an organization, do little or nothing to combat this omission. Until we call Dr. Breus and others on this, we will never get patients to accept oral appliance therapy as legitimate therapy.
Comment on Dr. Breus' articles publicly on
But until we ALL comment, there will be no change and patients who cannot tolerate CPAP will get no treatment. There is no better time to make your voice heard, the Internet makes it possible but only if you have the courage to use it. Otherwise just keep sitting on the tack and crying about lack of patient flow and lack of patient conversion. Believe me, no one gives a damn about your radio commercial or your printed advertisement, or what I do or what any other group marketing dental sleep medicine does until people like Michael Breus, Mehmet Oz and Oprah start talking about the benefits of OAT.
The public just doesn't care what you say about yourself, they only care about what others say about what you say about yourself.