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Episode #285 – Part 1 – Physiology with Dr. Mark Murphy

the best practices show podcast Mar 29, 2021

Snoring is more than just noise, according to Dr. Mark Murphy. Over a billion people suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, and your patients may be one of them! To stress the importance of screening for this disorder, Kirk Behrendt brings back Dr. Murphy for a five-part series to teach you everything you need to know to implement dental sleep medicine into your practice. If you want to change or even save your patients’ lives, listen to Episode 285 of The Best Practices Show! 


Main Takeaways:

  •  Billing, communication, and documentation is the hardest part of dental sleep medicine.
  • Sleep apnea is an epidemic that dentists need to help treat.
  • Comorbidities are exacerbated with obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Screen patients for sleep apnea, even if you don't want to treat them.
  • Better sleep means better health and a better life!  


  • “There is nothing I've seen in dentistry that is even remotely more rewarding than feeling like you've saved somebody’s life, feeling like you maybe saved somebody’s marriage, feeling like you got two people back in the bedroom together that were having trouble sleeping.” (11:53—12:11)
  • “How many dentists does it take to change a light bulb? It takes five; one to change the light bulb, and four to sit around and talk about how great the old one was.” (15:45—15:52)
  • “We take water for granted. There are a lot of people that live most of their lives somewhat dehydrated, and it has a huge impact on their physiology. Oxygen, though, is not ever listed as one of the important, major six nutrients. And yet, I would argue that it is the forgotten nutrient, because you can survive without breathing well, but you can't survive without breathing. And you will be compromised if you're not breathing well.” (18:18—18:46)
  • “20% to 25% of the adult population has obstructive sleep apnea. And as high as 85% to 90% of those people have never been diagnosed.” (21:52—22:01)
  • “Saw an ad the other day for a new FDA-approved drug, prescription only, that if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, you can take this to be more alert during the day. Oh, really? So, instead of getting at the root cause of the problem, we’re going to find a way to obtund your signs and symptoms so that you don't maybe get treatment and you function better every day, and we’ll just burn you out faster. It’s horrible.” (23:14—23:43)
  • “Patients will think if they snore, it’s just snoring — that it’s just a noise that they make. In reality, there's a very high correlation between snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. It’s not diagnostic, but there's a strong correlation.” (26:09—26:21)
  • “A person with obstructive sleep apnea is not two, or four, or eight, or 16 times more likely to die of a heart attack — they're 23 times more likely to die of a heart attack because of the stress and the strain that's put on the heart.” (27:45—28:01)
  • “There's a 53% survival rate over 20 years if you have severe sleep apnea versus not having it — 20 years. All ages, all causes of death. That's crazy. There should be alarm bells going off.” (32:04—32:21)
  • “Back in 1994, there was no state in the country that had an obesity rate that was in excess of 20%. In 2019, there was no state in the country that had an obesity rate under 20% of the population in the state.” (42:21—42:38)



  • Dr. Murphy’s background. (02:55—06:46)
  • How to make airway and sleep work in your practice. (07:17—09:10)
  • Why Dr. Murphy is passionate about dental sleep medicine. (09:42—14:44)
  • Dentists are resistant to change. (15:37—17:06)
  • Oxygen is taken for granted. (17:58—21:14)
  • Dentists are on the front lines to help treat sleep apnea. (21:49—23:43)
  • The U.S. Army is ProSomnus’ largest customer. (23:43—24:20)
  • Sleep is the secret weapon. (24:20—25:34)
  • Misconceptions about physiology. (26:04—29:31)
  • People are ill-informed, but not ill-curious. (29:57—32:18)
  • Screen patients for sleep apnea, even if you don't want to treat them. (33:00—34:54)
  • So much can be done through teledentistry. (35:51—36:55)
  • What sleep apnea is and isn't. (37:26—40:53)
  • Theories on why maxillae and mandibles have narrowed. (41:00—43:04)
  • Physiological stress versus psychological stress. (43:37—44:51)
  • Lack of sleep compromises overall health. (45:49—49:59)

Reach Out to Dr. Murphy:

Dr. Mark Murphy Bio:

Mark is an American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine Diplomate and has practiced in the Rochester area for over 35 years. He is the Lead Faculty for Clinical Education at ProSomnus Sleep Technologies, Principal of Funktional Sleep, serves on the Guest Faculty at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, and is a Regular Presenter at the Pankey Institute. He has served on the Boards of Directors of the Pankey Institute, National Association of Dental Laboratories, the IdentAlloy Council, the Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology, St. Vincent DePaul’s Dental Center, and The Dental Advisor. He lectures internationally on Leadership, Dental Sleep Medicine, TMD, Treatment Planning, and Occlusion.





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