Spotlight on Service – Joann Lafata


Spotlight on Service – Joann Lafata

Spotlight on Service – Joann Lafata

Posted on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022 at 2:04 pm    

Joann recently celebrated her 90-day anniversary with BDC. See what Joann had to say about her days in service at BDC so far…

What is your position?  What location are you currently working from?

I am currently the OSA (oral sleep appliance) billing manager.  I would from both our Gateway Plaza and Great South Bay locations.

How would you describe our office environment and your team relationships?

The Practices are very productive.  Everyone here at BDC has been very welcoming and friendly.  I truly enjoy working with Michelle (Sands), I believe we compliment one another in our dedication to service.

What are things that you are currently doing in service that bring you joy?

Everything about this role!  I appreciate the opportunity to work with both Dr Brown and Jenn.  Michelle is truly amazing and very helpful in growing me in this position.  The work we do with our patients is very gratifying.  It makes me happy that I can be sure that the Practice gets paid for the work it is doing to help our patients too.

What are things you would want to add to enhance your individual service or that of our collective team service?

I look forward to continuing to learn more about the diagnosis and overall treatment of sleep apnea.  While I was a medical biller for many years I never worked in a situation where I had the opportunity to learn about the work being done on the level I can here.  I would love to be able to learn enough that I too can schedule and help patients outside of their billing needs.

Is there a patient experience that has moved you as a wholehearted professional that you would like to share?

Not a one-on-one interaction at this point but seeing the reviews starting to come through from patients we have recently treated is extremely gratifying.  It’s getting the nod, “job well done”, which makes me want to learn and grow more in my role here at BDC.  It is special when you hear how much the service you provided a patient has changed their life.

Anything amazing in working with our BDC family that you appreciate and lets you know you have found your next true professional home here with us?

I love how the team focuses on “happiness” because when I am happy, I give 110% and it really doesn’t feel like work.  Our owners really care about the atmosphere and environment here at BDC and I feel it personally, which is nice.

Any service or general professional goals for the rest of your first year here at BDC?

As I mentioned earlier, learning all I can about sleep apnea in general and learning how I can help the entire BDC team, if ever needed.

Outside of BDC, what are things in your personal like that fills your tank or brings you joy?

I love being with my family.  I value and hold dear my close friendships.  And my Mom, she is my “mainstay”.

Babylon Dental Care Announces Transition of Hygienist to Sleep Director

Posted on Monday, January 24th, 2022 at 6:08 pm    

WEST BABYLON, N.Y.Jan. 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Babylon Dental Care, a dental practice serving the South Shore of Long Island for more than 38 years, is proud to announce the transition of one of their Hygienists to Sleep Director of their sleep apnea practice.

Michelle Sands has been a member of the Babylon Dental Care team for more than ten years. She has been instrumental in training many of their Hygiene team members and previously served as the Hygiene Team Leader. She has always served as a source of guidance and inspiration to her team, helping them determine treatment options and serve their patients to the best of their ability.

The pandemic has had an enormous impact on our daily lives and has caused a renewed interest in how we sleep. Stuck in quarantine, many of us revisited our health and how our sleep ties into it. So-called “pandemic insomnia” became a hot topic and when people looked into potential causes, they discovered that sleep apnea is common, often undiagnosed, and can have a serious impact on your overall health. Last summer, Philips Respironics recalled many of their CPAP machines that are used to treat sleep apnea patients, leaving these people with no way to treat their condition. These two factors have caused many people to explore the benefits of an oral sleep appliance, the device that Babylon Dental Care has provided for years.

“Our sleep practice has always served many patients, but since the pandemic and the recall we’ve seen a drastic increase in phone calls and requests for new appointments,” said Michelle.

In April of 2021, Michelle received serious news in her own life and was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. “My entire life was turned upside down the day I found out about my cancer,” said Michelle.

Michelle realized that stepping away from her hands-on career as a Hygienist was necessary. Fortunately, the increased need in our sleep apnea practice made it the perfect time to transition. Michelle has worked with our sleep apnea patients for many years and finds great satisfaction in helping our patients feel better.

“Our patients come in exhausted. Their partners can’t sleep with them because of how loud they snore, many are in trouble at work because they’ve fallen asleep at their desks, and I’ve even had some patients tell me they’ve fallen asleep while driving. They’re at the end of their rope.”

Obstructive sleep apnea causes the affected patient to stop breathing multiple times throughout the night, and it prevents them from getting deep and restful sleep. Even though they seem to be sleeping for 8 hours or more, they wake up tired and irritated.

The “gold standard” of treatment for sleep apnea patients is typically considered the CPAP machine, which is a mask that goes over the patient’s face and forces oxygen into their lungs. When a patient is diagnosed with sleep apnea, they are nearly always prescribed a CPAP machine, but it’s not a solution that works for everyone. CPAP machines are loud, bulky, require electricity, and can be difficult to clean. Many patients are CPAP intolerant and quickly refuse to use their CPAP machines, which often means their sleep apnea is left untreated. Michelle is proud to serve our patients with an alternative to the CPAP machine.

“My patients come in miserable, they hate their CPAP machines, and they’re suffering. The machine blows in their face and makes them uncomfortable, and many patients suffer from sinus infections as a side effect of the machine,” said Michelle. “Our oral sleep appliance requires no electricity and can fit in your pocket. Rather than forcing air into your mouth, the oral sleep appliance gently opens your jaws to remove the obstruction in your throat that causes you to stop breathing. It’s no more invasive than a mouth guard.”

Many of our patients also come in wondering why they can’t get restful sleep. Our sleep apnea practice is fully equipped to diagnose the condition as well as treat it. Not sure if you should see a doctor? If you’re always tired, and you know that you slept for 8 hours or more, it’s time to look into a sleep test.

Michelle is excited to focus on our sleep apnea practice and continue to help our patients feel rested and energized. “It may seem like a big shift, but for me it’s not. It feels like a natural occurrence. I’m still doing what I love, just transitioning to a different side.”

About Babylon Dental Care and Silent Night Therapy

Babylon Dental Care has been serving the Long Island community with excellent dental care since 1983 with locations in West Babylon (785 W Montauk Highway, West Babylon, NY 11704) and Patchogue (499 Sunrise Highway, Ste. 13BPatchogue, NY 11772). Visit us online at and call us at (631) 587-7373.

A member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) and the Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorder Disciplines, Dr. Brown started Silent Night Therapy to better assist sleep apnea patients. Contact us for an appointment.

Contact: Vanessa

Dr. Clifford Brown Announces Full-Time Transition to Sleep Practice

Posted on Monday, January 10th, 2022 at 6:21 pm    

Dr Brown

WEST BABYLON, N.Y., Jan. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The team at Babylon Dental Care is proud to announce that practice founder Dr. Clifford Brown will be transitioning from the dental side of the practice to running his sleep practice, Silent Night Therapy, full-time. Dr. Brown, whose philosophy of patient care is “treat patients like family,” has been helping his patients improve their oral health for nearly four decades. Now, he’s shifting his focus full-time to assisting patients who suffer from sleep apnea.

Dr. Brown is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) and the Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorder Disciplines. After witnessing first-hand the number of patients suffering from sleep disorders, Dr. Brown began to educate himself on these issues and grew passionate about helping these patients find a better solution to their condition.

Even a decade ago, neither doctors nor patients knew much about sleep apnea. In fact, many people suffering from the condition wrote it off as insomnia or other health conditions. The fact is, sleep apnea is a dangerous disease that can lead to life-threatening health issues like hypertension, weight gain, exhaustion, headaches, gasping for air while sleeping, loud snoring, episodes of not breathing while asleep, and even death. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, it is estimated that 22 million Americans are currently living with sleep apnea.

Now, in Dr. Brown’s view, the general public is finally beginning to wake up to the risks associated with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea has been the cause behind recent high-profile deaths, including the death of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher. As a result, sleep and sleep apnea have become mainstream issues in both attention and importance in recent years. According to Dr. Brown:

“Sleep has a renewed sense of importance for people. We’re working harder than ever before, and under more stress than ever before. Getting good sleep is crucial to our overall health.”

Dr. Brown and the Silent Night Therapy team have seen a huge influx of new patients. Dr. Brown attributes the increase in appointments to a variety of factors. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought anxiety, making it more difficult for people to practice healthy sleep habits. And most recently, Philips, the manufacturer of the CPAP machine, recalled all CPAP devices in June of 2021, citing safety concerns.

For years, sleep apnea had been treated by using a CPAP device, which can be loud, uncomfortable to wear, and invasive. The CPAP essentially forces oxygen into a person’s lungs by delivering a constant and steady stream of air to a person while they sleep, which is an unnatural solution to a natural health problem. CPAP devices contain a sound abatement foam that has been shown to disintegrate over time, causing foam particles to flow into the airway. At the time of the recall, Philips disclosed that severe health risks had been associated with use of CPAP devices, including cancer.

The CPAP recall left millions of sleep apnea patients without a means to treat their condition, which led many to seek alternative treatments such as those offered by Silent Night Therapy.

Dr. Brown, a sleep apnea patient himself, could never understand why the CPAP device was considered the “gold standard”. As he furthered his training in Dental Sleep Medicine and Oral Appliance Therapy, he began to focus more on helping those suffering from sleep apnea find other alternatives to the noisy and intrusive CPAP device.

Dr. Brown’s sleep therapy practice, Silent Night Therapy, offers effective alternative solutions for sleep apnea patients. Dr. Brown was one of the first dentists on Long Island to recommend and make Oral Sleep Appliance (OSA) devices. These wearable appliances look similar to a mouthguard and are much less invasive than CPAP. OSAs treat sleep apnea by moving the jaw and slightly opening the air passage. These custom devices are made to fit virtually any mouth. Though many of Dr. Brown’s patients are CPAP intolerant and have been previously diagnosed at another office, Silent Night Therapy is fully equipped to diagnose new patients who are struggling with their sleep. The office gives the patient an at-home sleep study, which is often more accurate than an in-office sleep study because you can sleep more easily in your own bed, and with the results the team can diagnose whether the patient has sleep apnea.

In addition to Dr. Brown, Michele Sands, who has worked with Dr. Brown for more than a decade, will be transitioning and taking on the role of Sleep Director at Silent Night Therapy. As more people become aware of sleep-related issues, Dr. Brown hopes that he and his team will be able to help more patients get the healthy sleep they need and deserve.

About Babylon Dental Care and Silent Night Therapy

Babylon Dental Care has been serving the Long Island community with excellent dental care since 1983 with locations in West Babylon (785 W Montauk Highway, West Babylon, NY 11704) and Patchogue (499 Sunrise Highway, Ste. 13B, Patchogue, NY 11772). Visit us online at and call us at (631) 587-7373.

A member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) and the Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorder Disciplines, Dr. Brown started Silent Night Therapy to better assist sleep apnea patients. Call us at 631-983-2463 for an appointment.