Occlusal Harmony and Sleep Disordered Breathing, Whip Mix Delivers
During a recent interview with the Editors of Dental Products Report, we discussed the connections between occlusal harmony and sleep disordered breathing, the opportunities for dentists to fill a major role in identifying patients with some form of sleep apnea, and the possibilities of bringing objective data into the dental office for treatment planning by using home sleep monitoring systems. The new line of airway products being offered by Whip Mix allows dentist to determine their level of involvement. Options range from questionnaires and oral screenings, to using wellness monitors, to completing home sleep tests, with the Nox T3, that document the apnea-hypopnea index and can be reviewed by medical physicians. To read more about the interview and the types of products available, click below. Please share where you are in occlusal airway connection process with me with the links in the bottom of the page.
A: As you know, Whip Mix has been a leader in occlusion products and airway is a natural extension of occlusion. As dentists focus on occlusal harmony and healthy tissue, they also address scalloped tongues, undersized palates and facial structure. Checking tonsil size and mallampati scores adds seconds to their screening time, and yet the [positive] impact on a patient’s life may be indescribable.
Q: What sleep innovations are you most proud of in the last few years?
A: For some dentists, screening for sleep apnea is overwhelming, and the threat of being held liable for a medical condition causes great concern. Whip Mix brings products to dentists that work within their comfort zone. For dentists who would like to provide home sleep tests from the dental office, we offer the Nox T3 system. It provides 14 channels of objective data, including bruxism, body position and airflow, all used to identify the apnea-hypopnea index. The data from this system is reviewable by medical physicians to sync the patient’s treatment plan.
Lorena Lighthart, Clinical Product Manager, Whip MixFor dentists who would prefer to screen for airway issues, we recommend our wellness line of products. This includes the GEM and GEMProsystems. By tracking oxygen saturation and heart rate, one is easily able to allow patients to test and titrate sleep appliances from home. Add bruxism, body position and audio to pulse oximetry, and one is able to plan appropriate restorations and determine if single arch occlusal guards impact airway.
Q: What needs were you hearing in the industry that led you to develop these products?
A: When it came to airway, it seemed dentists were relying heavily on subjective data. The screening questionnaires that patients supplied relied somewhat on what a bed partner heard or if the patient thought they snored. Sleep appliances were titrated to an estimated location and then were positioned based on how the patient felt they were sleeping. This led medical physicians to distrust the use of sleep appliances by dentists because if they were not titrated correctly, the patient’s AHI did not improve. Bringing objective data into the dental office allowed dentists to know the patient’s airway condition and validate the effectiveness of the sleep appliance. Now, they are able to know the numbers and be confident in the treatment.
Q: Why do you think Whip Mix has such a good reputation among end users?
A: The people. The employees at Whip Mix value relationships and become excited when they are able to help someone meet a specific need. Whip Mix is a family-run business and, from the top down, we work together to provide quality products, training and services for our customers.
Q: What is Whip Mix’s approach to support? How can a clinician be sure they will be satisfied with their partnership with you?
A: Support is key to all we do. Customers are not just a name to us. We are continually working to provide webinars and ebooks, update our how-to videos and improve our product instructions. Our sales team spends a large amount of time attending educational programs so that they can work side by side with our customers and learn together.
Q: What innovations can dental professionals expect from Whip Mix in the coming months and years?
A: From baby boomers growing older to millennial moms, dental needs are changing. As the dental airway connection grows, more and more
children will be tested for airway-related issues requiring the need for pediatric accessories and disposable finger probes. Our new Asiga 3D printers are an exciting addition to our line—for that we have developed our own line of resins for printing models, splints, surgical guides and custom impression trays. We’re also looking at a 3D-printed oral appliance for the treatment of airway.
5 Things to Know About the Proposed Policy Statement on the Role of Dentistry in the Treatment of Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders from the ADA