Pennwell web 120 120

Patterson, Airway partner on custom oral appliance

Feb. 3, 2011
Companies partner on the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP® 3 appliance).
Patterson Dental (PDCO) and Airway Management, Inc., have entered into a strategic partnership to distribute the leading custom oral appliance for treating sleep apnea to dental professionals through Patterson Dental. A Practice Start-up Kit will be available for the first time at the Chicago Dental Society 146th Midwinter Meeting February 24-26 at the Patterson booth. The kit is designed to give dental professionals all the tools needed to immediately start treatment for snoring and sleep apnea.
Through Patterson Dental and Airway Management, a world leader in the design, manufacture and sales of custom oral appliances with its Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP® 3 appliance), dentists have a proven treatment modality for patients suffering from snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The TAP® fits over the teeth similar to a mouth guard and advances the jaw forward during sleep, keeping the airway open and eliminating snoring and sleep apnea. Patterson Dental Director of Marketing, Merchandise Mike Smurr said, “We are excited about this partnership and the opportunity to provide dental professionals with a clinically proven, highly regarded product for treating a common problem.”Typically, patients diagnosed with OSA are prescribed a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device and facemask to wear while sleeping. While CPAP has been proven effective, many struggle to use the device regularly due to side effects that can range from mask discomfort to nasal congestion, irritation and headache.Airway Management Vice President of Sales and Marketing Steve Moore said dentists are the ideal practitioners for treating snoring and sleep apnea. “A large percentage of people do not know who their primary care physician is, while dentists see patients up to two times a year,” he said. “Additionally, dentists are very familiar with the head, neck and airway and the Tap 3 concept of advancing the jaw forward to keep the airway open to prevent snoring.“Patients who seek treatment now have a choice and are no longer limited to wearing a CPAP and mask while sleeping,” Moore said. “In addition, the practice positions itself to enter one of the fastest growing sub-specialties of dentistry.” According to the National Sleep Foundation, 20 million Americans have sleep apnea. Airway Management will maintain its long-standing agreements with its licensed dental laboratories that fabricate TAP® devices. These dental laboratories have made inroads over the years and will continue to service their customer bases.