Dr. Hartsfield and Her Journey to Success

doctor working at laptop

Dr. Hartsfield and Her Journey to Success

We were so proud when the amazing news reached us that Dr. Amy Hartsfield had been welcomed as one of just seven dentists across the United States appointed to serve on the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. Such a major achievement is the cause for much celebration and also presented us with a great chance to ask the appointee more about her career and work.

Dr Hartsfield, what is the biggest motivator that keeps you striving to go above and beyond for your patients and practice?

As with most medical professionals, I gain the greatest satisfaction from seeing the difference we have made in improving the quality of our patients’ lives. Making someone feel better, whether they are suffering from a sleep breathing disorder or chronic pain, is always truly rewarding.

When did you first realize that the TMJ and Sleep Apnea field was your true calling?


Well, we all know the quote from the bible when Jesus said ‘Physician heal thyself’! In my case, this was the truth of it. I endured chronic problems with both orofacial pain and sleep, suffering from TMJ and sleep breathing disorders, as well as from debilitating migraines. Being able to help myself made me more determined to help other sufferers too.

What do you feel makes your team here at TMJ & Sleep Solutions different in this vital field?

I guess that it’s a lot about listening. People always know whether you are genuinely seeking to find out what is wrong and then to deliver truly effective treatments. I once heard a terrific description of the difference this can make. A specialist was talking about diagnosis and treatment and highlighted a key path to follow. This was to ‘seek out the source of a patient’s pain, rather than simply finding the site of it’. It’s easy to understand the major difference between these two actions!

Finally, Dr Hartfield, what piece of advice would you wish to be able to give to your past self?

Dr Welden Bell, who authored the classic text ‘The Clinical Management of Orofacial Pain’ is recognized as one of the forefathers in this field. He once stated that one should ‘Always follow the man who is seeking the truth, not the man who has found it’. This seems, to me, such a wise thought, especially because both chronic pain and sleep disorders are so very complex.

You will never find a single action or treatment that will cure all those who suffer from this pair of disorders. Patients, indeed all human beings, are very complex entities. I am always pretty leery when I hear someone claiming to be able to fix all of a patient’s problems with just one simple treatment. I’ve always found that it just doesn’t work that way.

Dr Hartfield, congratulations again, and thanks for your time

Thanks, it’s a great honor, and I’ll certainly be striving every day to live up to the trust that has been placed in me.