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Kristin Hohman serves as Associate Editor for DPR.
Dr. Amy Wark, owner of Wark Dental Group in McMinnville, Oregon, shares her experience with SleepArchiTx, which recently won a Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award.
DPR: Tell us a bit about you and your practice.
Dr. Wark: I graduated in 1999 from the School of Dentistry at Oregon Health and Sciences University. I was in the military for 4 years and then I came back and join my dad's practice in McMinnville, Oregon and I’ve been here since 2003.
DPR: How did you first learn about SleepArchiTx?
Dr. Wark: Actually, I was kind of interested in [sleep medicine] for myself. I was having trouble sleeping and so I’d gotten tested independently and I had a low enough number that they wouldn't recommend anything for me but and I did try a CPAP, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I don't think I'd ever be able to use a CPAP, I move too much when I sleep.’ So, I started looking at sleep appliances.
I learned about SleepArchiTx through an Invisalign course with Dr. [Payam] Ataii, and he talked about how he incorporated SleepArchiTx into his Invisalign treatment. I had been interested in doing some more sleep stuff and I read some articles on it. So, that's what prompted me to first start looking into it.
DPR: What made you start using SleepArchiTx in your practice?
Dr. Wark: I liked how they worked with Invisalign and I liked that people can be wearing their Invisalign retainers and still be able to wear the SleepArchiTx appliances. So, that was a big reason. And I'd worked with Dr. Ataii, and I liked him and trusted him and he's a good mentor. That's kind of how I got started with it.
DPR: What has it been like using SleepArchiTx?
Dr. Wark: It took us a little bit of time to get used to the system, but now that we have the different steps down it, it flows pretty well. And patients seem to appreciate it. I don't always recommend something to patients, but sometimes they'll then talk to their physician about it first. It’s nice to know that even if they don't use the product that we're talking about, that we can actually be changing lives.
DPR: How has using SleepArchiTx benefited your practice and your patients?
Dr. Wark: I would say it's been very positive. Just like any other treatment, it hasn't worked for every single one of our patients. But it's definitely helped every single one of our patients. Some people did end up going with a CPAP afterward. But again, I feel like we help them out anyway, as far as to start talking about sleep helping their overall health.
It prompted us to start screening every patient, so we do screen all of our patients for sleep now. So we have an opportunity to talk to them all about sleep issues and what is going on in their lives, especially now with COVID. And the issues with CPAPs and COVID—it's been nice to be able to give them another option and be able to talk to them about it.