Avi Weisfogel, the New Jersey dentist who is widely credited with inventing the field of sleep dentistry, started out his career like any other newly minted dentist, fresh out of school and looking to build his own practice. After graduating from the New York University School of Dentistry, he quickly founded his first practice, Old Bridge Dental. Through hard work and word-of-mouth, he rapidly built his practice into one of the premier dental offices in Central New Jersey.
Though this time period, Dr. Weisfogel became interested in all of the different ailments which dentists, as trained medical professionals, were in a position to potentially recognize and even treat in their earliest stages. Dr. Weisfogel knew that many patients who did not see their general practitioners for many years still chose to see dentists on a fairly regular basis. This is, in part, due to the nature of dental problems. While it is the easiest thing in the world to rationalize why a routine checkup can be skipped, there is no rationale that can quell the pain of an abscessed molar. Dr. Weisfogel reasoned that, because so many patients will come to see their dentists long before they ever get in to see their physicians, it may be beneficial for those patients if more dentists were trained in the diagnosis of diseases with etiologies in the head and neck area.
After considerable research, Dr. Weisfogel concluded that one of the most under diagnosed, easily treated and potentially catastrophic diseases which dentists were in a position to identify was sleep apnea. Sleep apnea had long been woefully unrecognized, with over 90% of all sufferers unaware that they had the illness. Unfortunately, for the 10% who knew, it was often due to rapidly deteriorating health and extreme symptoms. In fact, Dr. Weisfogel discovered that sleep apnea is closely correlated with nearly every major cause of fatality in the United States, ranging from heart attack, stroke and diabetes to fatal automobile accidents.Dr. Weisfogel founded Dental Sleep Masters to train dentists how to recognize and treat this insidious killer. His programs have proven so successful that he is now recognized as the father of sleep dentistry, a practice which has transformed both dentistry and sleep medicine forever.