Imagine walking into your child’s room to find a stranger choking your child. Fear, panic and an immediate response would be instant, of course with a heroic end and a safe child. However, it is common to let our children snore, effectively choking, each night without investigation or treatment.

As dentists we are the gateway to the mouth. We see our patients regularly, we monitor their development and we should know the signs of sleep disordered breathing. And when we do, we can make a change in our patients lives.

This episode we have the absolute pleasure of speaking with Dr David McIntosh. David is a paediatric ENT with a special interest in airway, snoring and sleep apnoea. David is a published author on this topic with an excellent book called Snored to Death – I recommend everyone reads this. David runs multiple facebook pages in an attempt to educate and change the old ways of letting our children struggle to breath at night.

This was a monster episode with a ton of information. David was particularly generous with his time and this stretches close to 2hrs! Perhaps digest this one in a few different sittings but i have absolutely no doubt you’ll be engaged and take away a ton of Information.

We chat in depth about

  • Is it ok for a child to snore?
  • How David became an ENT with a special interest in paediatric airway
  • What do dentist need to know about airway to pick this stuff up
  • The deal with tonsillitis and the magic number 
    • Of the cases he sees where tonsillectomy is indicated, 80-90% have not ever had tonsillitis 
    • Size is a big part but not the whole story 
    • Diagnosing in children – the facts 
    • Assesssment of tonsils and their grades
  • How you can approach the airway and tonsil discussion with parents
  • What is the referral pathway once the issue is identified.
  • Not all ENTs are created equal, some have special interests in the ear, others in the airway etc. Do your research to ensure the pt gets appropriate care
  • Should adults snore?
  • Tongue tie, a great framework to help you think about and advise on tongue tie.
    • Physical tongue tie and a functional tongue tie
  • A few questions from our Instagram page and Facebook Group


If you’re a dental student or graduate, here are 4 ways I can help you transition to private practice.

  1. Download the 10 Tips to Successfully Transition to Private Practice – This is a culmination of the things i’ve learnt over the years that I think are worth considering for all grads. I’ve included reference links throughout.
  2. Check Out The 4Sight Dental On Demand Webinar – We cover communication, getting a job and excelling in that job with Dr Omid Azami, Dr Jesse Green and myself!
  3. Find the CPD you need on CPD Junkie – Australia’s most comprehensive CPD Database, exclusive discounts and content.
  4. Clarify your goals, vision and lessons with the 4Sight Dental Journal – In fact you can get this and the webinar for 50% off! Use the code ‘DHS2020’

CPD Junkie

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How do you find CPD? It is such a difficult task, with courses listed here and there but you never know you’ve seen them all.

Until Now. has been created to provide all Dental CPD in the one place. Search by keyword, date, discipline, location, speaker or organiser – however you want to find it, you can.

As a bonus for joining the site, you can get our Free e-book ” How to get the most out of CPD” AND get the Free photography cheat sheet created by Szabi Hant!Free Photography Cheat Sheet!

The Dental Head Start Podcast is for students and new graduates. We interview successful dentists and specialists to uncover the tips, tricks and advice to help you transition from dental school to private practice successfully.

If you like this content then I ask just one thing of you; share this with a friend who will benefit from this and help us help more students and new grads!

David is a recent graduate dentist working in private practice in regional NSW, Australia. Read more at

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