SOURCE: Airway Management

Airway Management

April 23, 2012 09:00 ET

Airway Management Forms Dental Institute of Sleep Medicine

DALLAS, TX--(Marketwire - Apr 23, 2012) - Airway Management ( has formed the Dental Institute of Sleep Medicine ( for the purpose of training dental practitioners in the use of TAP® oral appliance therapy for sleep disordered breathing. Upcoming courses are sponsored by TAP®, VirtuOx, and Patterson Dental.

"By 2020, 40 percent of the U.S. population will have some form of sleep disordered breathing. With the failure of CPAP as a long-term therapy for many patients, dentists will play the key role in the management of these disorders, including snoring and sleep apnea. Demand for treatment of snoring and sleep apnea has increased exponentially, yet the dentist is confronted with what seems to be a great barrier due to the medical nature of the condition. The truth is that treating these patients can be accomplished easily, appropriately and profitably in the dental office," says Dr. W. Keith Thornton, inventor of the TAP® and TAP® PAP adjustable oral appliances for sleep disordered breathing. "I am delighted to join with Dr. Paul McLornan and Dr. Steve Bender in developing courses that will make it both efficient and effective for dentists to provide TAP® appliance therapy."

All courses are in an interactive workshop format with didactic presentations, hands-on exercises, and ample time for questions and answers. An introductory 1-day course, titled "Jump Start Your Practice," and an intermediate 1-day course titled "Clinical Mastery" are being held on successive days at multiple Patterson Dental branches around the United States. A 3-day "Advanced Comprehensive Therapy" course is being held monthly at Airway Management in Dallas, Texas.

"One of the exciting aspects of our training," says Dr. Thornton, "is learning how to use and interpret an overnight pulse oximeter. We have created VirtuOx Professional Edition, which is a web-based patient management system. Participants in the courses learn how to gather specific information and use necessary forms for patient evaluation, how to deliver and adjust a TAP® oral appliance, and how to fit a morning repositioner (the AM aligner). On completion of the second day of training (the Clinical Mastery course), the participant receives TAP® Certification. In Dallas, the Advanced Comprehensive training is limited to 10 participants per session. It covers the curriculum of the other courses, plus training in all areas of the TAP® system and the new TAP® PAP system, so at the completion of the course, the participant has achieved both TAP® and TAP® PAP Certification."

"The TAP® system has been hugely beneficial to patients in my practice," says Dr. Steve Bender, one of the Dental Institute of Sleep Medicine faculty members. "Dr. Thornton is a third generation dentist who has dedicated the last decade of practice to the treatment of sleep disordered breathing. He has over 52 US and foreign patents on oral appliances, CPAP masks, and combination oral appliance mask interface systems. The TAP® is the market leader and most prescribed adjustable oral appliance for sleep apnea. More than 250,000 have been delivered worldwide."

"The TAP® system is not only efficacious," says Dr. Paul McLornan, a prosthodontist in private practice and assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio Dental School. "It is the only appliance shown to be not inferior to CPAP. Sleep disordered breathing contributes more to morbidity and mortality than patients realize. Most dentists are not aware that they can now easily develop the ability to help their patients and also offer therapeutic options to CPAP. All general dentists would benefit from higher awareness and many would benefit from adding oral appliance therapy for sleep disordered breathing to their practice services. Patterson Dental is to be commended for moving forward as an educational leader in this arena."

Contact Information

  • For more course information, contact:
    Samantha McClure
    Email Contact