Pro Player Health Alliance Reunites NFL Purple People Eaters at the Upcoming LHF Screening at the University of Minnesota September 17, 2016

More than 20 retired players will visit the clinic Saturday for comprehensive screenings by National Football League Players Association.

Marking the first visits under a new care model developed by National Football League Players Association-sponsored by Living Heart Foundation and Pro Player Health Alliance, more than 20 retired NFL players will visit University of Minnesota Health Signature Health and Wellness for comprehensive physicals, electrocardiograms, and lab tests this Saturday, Sept. 17.

The day of screenings is designed to help former players – like Purple People Eaters Gary Larsen, Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, Alan Page and punter Greg Coleman – detect and treat the unintended health concerns that come with life after professional football.

“Wear and tear from high-caliber sports, be it football or otherwise, tend to appear as athletes age,” said William Conroy, MD, medical director for Signature Health and Wellness. “Our program is a tailored, comprehensive care option to help busy people achieve and maintain good health, which is something the NFLPA wants for its members.”

The Living Heart Foundation, under the auspices of the NFLPA, refers retired players to specialized care around the nation. It also develops education and wellness programming to raise awareness about conditions that often affect older athletes, such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. When left untreated, these conditions contribute to the shorter life expectancies of retired players.

Signature Health and Wellness, located in the University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center, is the first designated brick-and-mortar provider to treat retired players referred by the NFLPA-funded Living Heart Foundation. The program will apply genomic testing to personalize treatment for patients, as well as partner with Pro Player Health Alliance to treat sleep apnea. David Gergen, President and CEO of Pro Player Health Alliance, selected Dr. Greg Ross as the dental sleep medicine expert to treat sleep apnea and related disorders with oral appliance therapy when medically indicated.

David Gergen, also the Executive Director for the American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA), only chooses ASBA members to connect with NFLPA chapters nationwide in order to ensure top quality treatment.  This not only guarantees the retired players are receiving elite patient care, but it offers an opportunity for the treating dentist to obtain testimonials from NFL legends. “I have complete confidence in Dr. Ross. Not only will he provide excellent treatment for the players, I’m sure he will work well with the players incorporating them into a fun and strategic marketing program. The guys will love him,” said Gergen. The previous dentist chosen by Gergen and Pro Player Health Alliance is Dr. Bill Williams in Atlanta. David Gergen says, “It’s my goal to have a dentist in every city that contains an NFLPA chapter and have them be our go-to doctors for oral appliance therapy.” More information on how to work with the NFLPA chapter near you can be found at the next Sleep Apnea 101 Course with NFL Greats. You can register for only $197 by clicking here.

Special guests at this symposium will be the four Minnesota Vikings Purple People Eaters (Carl Eller, Alan Page, Jim Marshall, Gary Larsen), Chuck Foreman and Maureen Bausch, CEO of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee.

About University of Minnesota Health
University of Minnesota Health represents a collaboration between University of Minnesota Physicians and University of Minnesota Medical Center. Working together, we provide exceptional care in a wide range of specialties at our hospitals, clinics and in community‐based facilities throughout the region. Visit: http://www.mhealth.org

About the Living Heart Foundation
The Living Heart Foundation (LHF) is a nonprofit organization under IRS 501 (c) (3) code. The LHF was initially funded by a grant from the Edison Foundation. Subsequently, Funding sources and donations have been obtained from companies like Covidien, Pfizer, Meridian Health System, Siemens, Professional Athletes Foundation, and from individual sources. The LHF was established by Arthur J. Roberts, MD in April 2001 to combat sudden cardiac death and to provide cardiovascular risk stratification with early preventive intervention for cardiac, pulmonary, and metabolic conditions through on-site screening and integrated follow-up health programs. The LHF has published 10 peer review papers related to CV risk in college students & athletes, as well as former NFL athletes.

About Pro Player Health Alliance
Pro Player Health Alliance (PPHA) is an organization dedicated to helping former NFL players, through providing testing and treatment options for those who suffer from sleep apnea. Since launching in April 2012, over 400 players have been treated through PPHA’s “Tackle Sleep Apnea” campaign. Also, the PPHA is dedicated to integrating education and raising sleep apnea awareness, in a fun and memorable way. In addition to the campaign, PPHA is dedicated to testing and getting people who suffer from sleep apnea treated.http://www.proplayersleep.org

Pro Player Health Alliance

David Gergen

602-478-9713

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

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David Gergen Selects Top ASBA Diplomates To Speak At the U.S. Senate on Oral Appliance Therapy

David Gergen will lead the delegation of a committee formed with American Sleep and Breathing Academy members that will be presenting to a Caucus Committee of Congress. The hearing is scheduled for September 27, 2016 and it is estimated that 60-80 congressmen, senators and regulators will be in attendance.  “David Gergen, CEO of the ASBA, selected this team,” says Dr. Elliott Alpher who will be the moderator for the hearing. Gergen stated, “Our objective is to make oral appliances the true benchmark for mild to moderate sleep apnea. We know big CPAP manufacturers have their lobbyists to ensure that does not happen, even though in 2006 the government said oral appliances should be a treatment option. We’re fighting every step of the way.”

Earlier this year, under the direction of David Gergen, over 100 comments were submitted by ASBA members to regulators who are charged with overseeing the transportation industry. David Gergen says, “The law makers want solutions and oral appliances are becoming the answer. They are paying attention to the problem as evidence by their decision to extend the commenting period online two months ago. I give credit to our ASBA members; they did a great job by being proactive and it paid off.”

Dr. Neal Seltzer out of Long Island, NY is one of the dental sleep professionals chosen by Gergen to speak in Washington D.C. because he “views Dr. Seltzer as one of the top guys in the profession. Not just a fantastic sleep dentist but a fantastic person.”

When Dr. Seltzer heard the announcement that the ASBA was going to speak with Congress he said, ““David Gergen has done more for dental sleep medicine in four years than the entire industry has done in 30. He is turning this industry on its ear. Joining the ASBA is one way to encourage that kind of leadership and ensure that the dental sleep community continues to progress in the right direction.” The agenda will be as follows:

Dr. Elliott Alpher-Overview

Dr. Neal Seltzer-OAT/What it is and how it works

Dr. Richard Klein-TMJ

David Gergen-Working with NFL greats across the country

Roy Green/Eric Dickerson-NFL player personal testimonies

Dr. Dave Singh-Non-surgical upper airway remodeling

Dr. Neal Seltzer-Microrecorder to prove compliance in custom device

Dr. Rudi Ferrate-CPAP is overprescribed

Dr. Kent Smith-Recap

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

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Don’t Forget About The ASBA Study Club And Diplomate Exam/Review Coming In One Month!

The American Sleep and Breathing Academy is an organization dedicated to enriching our members’ knowledge and skill in the treatment of sleep disordered breathing. Our goal is to provide current evidence based information to our members and enable them to provide optimal treatment for their patients. The Academy offers certification to its members as a confirmation of their knowledge, skill and experience. There are multiple levels of certification within our organization.

On September 23-24, in Phoenix, AZ the ASBA will be holding a review course is offered to Dentists who wish to attain diplomacy with the American Sleep and Breathing Academy. The review course is a one day seminar that uses mock exams and literature reviews to prepare ASBA members to sit for the ASBA Diplomacy exam the very next day. Some but not all of the questions in the review course will appear in the 2016 exam. All of the literature used in the review course will have been used to make up the final exam. Details/registration for the exam and review course can be found at the following links:

During that weekend, the ASBA will also be offering a study club to members in a non-vendor atmosphere. This means attendees will enjoy a pure learning experience from the most elite dental sleep medicine professionals in the country. ASBA mentors are required to have done $1.5 million/year in sleep. Each mentor comes from different markets and are able to share unique marketing and business strategies. Register for the ASBA study club now as spots are limited! Details/registration for the ASBA study club can be found at the following links:

Study Club
FridaySaturday, September 23rd – 24th, 2016
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
7677 N 16th St
Phoenix, AZ 85020

Room rates start at $145.00/night
Registration for the Study Club is $2,500.00
Link For The Hotel Booking – Click on “MAKE YOUR SELECTION” and select “ATTENDEE”
Diplomate Review/Exam
FridaySaturday, September 23rd – 24th, 2016
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
7677 N 16th St
Phoenix, AZ 85020

Room rates start at $145.00/night
Registration for the Review is $795.00
Registration for the Exam is $895.00
Link For The Hotel Booking – Click on “MAKE YOUR SELECTION” and select “ATTENDEE”

For questions please email info@myasba.com or call David Gergen at 602-478-9713.

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

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David Gergen In Washington D.C. – ASBA News Update By Alan Hickey

David Gergen Spreads Awareness of Sleep Medicine

The CEO of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy has a clear mission: Educate and spread awareness of oral appliance therapy and sleep disorders to the public, and to the medical and dental professions. Serving as the ASBA’s CEO for the past five years, David Gergen has leveraged the power of athletic celebrity to shine a bright light on sleep disorders.

With a keen awareness of the popularity of sports in America—particularly the National Football League—Gergen has used his additional role as president of the Pro Player Health Alliance to bring football players to public events and hospital-based gatherings.

“High profile athletes are in the spotlight all the time, and they have the ability to reach the masses,” says Gergen, a dental lab technician by trade for more than three decades. “Dr. Bill Williams, a dentist in Atlanta could not believe how the athletes could get to the media and get the message out.”

There is still a lot of work to do, primarily because the medical profession does not have a good understanding of oral appliance therapy. “They have not been educated in medical school enough about oral appliance therapy,” muses Gergen. “As I work with more and more MDs, I see this to be true.”

In well-attended public events, athletes such as Roy Green, Charles Barkley, Eric Dickerson, Marcus Allen, Mike Haynes, Carl Eller, Chuck Foreman and Derek Kennard attempt to bridge some of that knowledge gap, at least among potential patients. More awareness naturally leads to more patients, and clinicians are responding by seeking additional education.

Reaching Out to Washington, DC

Gergen will lead a delegation of a committee formed with ASBA members who will be presenting to a Caucus Committee of Congress. Scheduled for Sept 27, 2016, the hearing will likely attract about 70 members of Congress and additional regulators.

Gergen says of the hearing: “Our objective is to make oral appliances the true benchmark for mild to moderate sleep apnea. We know big CPAP manufacturers have their lobbyists to ensure that does not happen, even though in 2006 the government said oral appliances should be a treatment option. We’re fighting every step of the way.”

Earlier this year, under the direction of Gergen, more than 100 comments were submitted by ASBA members to regulators charged with overseeing the transportation industry. “The law makers want solutions and oral appliances are becoming the answer,” says Gergen. “They are paying attention to the problem as evidence by their decision to extend the commenting period online two months ago. I give credit to our ASBA members; they did a great job by being proactive and it paid off.”

When Dr. Neal Seltzer out of Long Island, NY, heard the announcement that the ASBA was going to speak with Congress, he said, “David Gergen has done more for dental sleep medicine in four years than the entire industry has done in 30. He is turning this industry on its ear. Joining the ASBA is one way to encourage that kind of leadership and ensure that the dental sleep community continues to progress in the right direction.”

To those who know him, Gergen’s persistence comes as little surprise. As a former football coach at the pop warner and high school levels (with a national championship on his resume), Gergen was known as an offensive-minded coach, and it’s a strategy that he has long brought to the worlds of business and education. “I hardly ever punted,” he says with a chuckle. “The best defense is a good offense.”

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

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OSA and the Transportation Industry – Rulemaking Recommendations Take Shape

WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 23 2016) – Sleep apnea rulemaking recommendations from the Medical Review Board (MRB) are in. MRB reviewed comments from medical professionals and associations in preparation for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) and Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA’s) Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on obstructive sleep apnea.

FMCSA tasked the MRB with reviewing and analyzing all ANPRM comments to identify factors that could influence next steps in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) rulemaking. A letter from Gina C. Pervall, MD, CIME, chairman of the Medical Review Board, to the FMCSA administrator, highlights recommendations.*

 

General Recommendations Regarding OSA Include:

  • CMEs must screen drivers presenting for medical certification for OSA diagnostic testing in accordance with previous recommendations;
  • CMEs cannot issue a medical card for more than 1 year to a driver with an established diagnosis of OSA, regardless of severity;
  • A CME may certify a driver with an OSA diagnosis if the driver is being treated effectively; and
  • For certification purposes, “effective treatment” or “treated effectively” is defined as the resolution of moderate to severe OSA to mild or better, as determined by a board-certified sleep specialist.

 

Immediate Disqualification – Drivers should be disqualified immediately and referred for OSA diagnostic testing if any of the following conditions exist:

  • Individuals who have admitted fatigue or sleepiness during the wake period;
  • Individuals who have been involved in a sleep-related motor vehicle crash or accident or near crash;
  • Drivers found non compliant with treatment per previous recommendations;

 

Additional Recommendations

  • The CME should have the discretion to disqualify any driver who appears to be at extremely high risk.
  • Drivers disqualified for any of the above reasons must remain disqualified until evaluated and treated effectively.

 

Treatment: Positive Airway Pressure (PAP)

  • Based on the available medical literature, PAP therapy is the preferred OSA treatment.
  • Adequate PAP pressure should be established through one of the following methods: 1) Titration study with polysomnography; 2) auto-titration system.

 

A driver may be certified initially for up to 1 year if the following conditions are met:

1) The driver must document PAP use for a time period no less than 30 consecutive days (minimum records requirement – initial certification);

2) The driver’s PAP use records must demonstrate at least 4 hours per night use on 70 percent of nights (minimum compliance standard); and

3) The driver does not report excessive sleepiness during the major wake period.

 

Treatment: Oral appliance

MRB recommends that a driver with a diagnosis of moderate to severe OSA should try PAP therapy before oral appliance therapy, unless a board-certified sleep specialist has determined that an alternative therapy such as PAP is intolerable for a driver, in which case the driver should have the option to pursue oral appliance therapy to treat OSA.

Stated rationale: Based on the available medical literature, drivers with a diagnosis of moderate to severe OSA are less likely to achieve resolution of moderate to severe OSA with an oral appliance than with PAP therapy. There is limited data regarding compliance and long-term efficacy of oral appliances.

 

The ASBA urges its members to focus their efforts on advocating for OAT more

As Dr. Kent Smith, ASBA President Elect, stated, “It does say that moderate to severe has to be treated down to the mild category, and I assure you that getting moderate patients to mild with OAT is a slam dunk.” Additionally, Dr. Smith provided an example of a study that shows OAT and nPAP are equally effective when treating  mild to moderate sleep apnea. This can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20962502.

Additional covered treatments are: bariatric surgery; oropharyngeal surgery (facial bone surgery); and tracheostomy.

* Article is a summary. To view meeting notes from 8/23/2016 meeting, click here

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/advisory-committees/mrb/draft-task-16-01-discussion-notes-8232016

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

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ASBA Diplomate Dr. Mark Castle Holds Sleep Apnea Awareness Event with AZ Cardinals and Arrowhead Koala Sleep Center

With the favorite pastime of the fall lingering right around the corner how is it possible to incorporate the kick off party to the Arizona Cardinals season, raise money for the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association Charity and connect American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA) diplomates with patients who are in need of sleep apnea treatment all in one event? Easy. Team up with David Gergen, CEO of Pro Player Health Alliance and Executive Director of the ASBA.

September 6, 2016 saw an entire day packed with constant media attention – multiple news channels and journalist were eager to get the word out about such a unique event. The night began with a crowd favorite, Bid Red (the AZ Cardinals mascot), breathing life into Cowboys Saloon located just south of the Cardinals Stadium. Kids flooded the dance floor covered in anything red and danced with Big Red and Lieutenant Holmes of the Phoenix Police Department to fun music.

As people continued to arrive, David Gergen and Lieutenant Holmes showed appreciation for all that attended and announced the sponsors of the event – Arrowhead Pro Sleep Testing and Arrowhead Koala Centers for Sleep Disorders. Both Koala and Pro Sleep were giving away two free TVs at the end of the night, a promotion that generated over 40 potential patients.

Cardinals RB and Rookie of the Year David Johnson, Cardinals legend Roy Green, Ron Wolfley and Derek Kennard delivered a message on the significance of being able to support local law enforcement, what sleep apnea awareness means to them and the excitement leading up to the upcoming season. Many people were stunned by the appearance of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, but nobody was as surprised as Ron Wolfley about what happened next; Ron Wolfley and one of the Cardinals owners, Nicole Bidwell, were presented as honorary police officers, although Nicole was not able to attend.

The event ended with a players’ reunion in the VIP room, interviews by the press and the announcement of winners in the silent auction benefiting the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association Charity. Overall, the combined efforts raised approximately $14,000 for the charity. The American Sleep and Breathing Academy, Arrowhead Pro Sleep Testing, Arrowhead Koala Centers for Sleep Disorders, Arizona Cardinals, Cowboys Saloon and the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association Charity joined together to make the perfect team and created fun and successful night for everyone who was there.

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

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OAT Vs Nasal CPAP Study

Respiration. 2011;81(5):411-9. doi: 10.1159/000319595. Epub 2010 Oct 20.

Oral appliance therapy versus nasal continuous positive airway pressure in obstructive sleep apnea: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Department of Oral Kinesiology, Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam, Research Institute MOVE, University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands. g.aarab@ acta.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous randomized controlled trials have addressed the efficacy of mandibular advancement devices (MADs) in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Their common control condition, nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP), was frequently found to be superior to MAD therapy. However, in most of these studies, only nCPAP was titrated objectively but not MAD. To enable an unbiased comparison between both treatment modalities, the MAD should be titrated objectively as well.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of the present study was to compare the treatment effects of a titrated MAD with those of nCPAP and an intra-oral placebo device.

METHODS:

Sixty-four mild/moderate patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA; 52.0 ± 9.6 years) were randomly assigned to three parallel groups: MAD, nCPAP and placebo device. From all patients, two polysomnographic recordings were obtained at the hospital: one before treatment and one after approximately 6 months of treatment.

RESULTS:

The change in the apnea-hypopnea index (ΔAHI) between baseline and therapy evaluation differed significantly between the three therapy groups (ANCOVA; p = 0.000). No differences in the ΔAHI were found between the MAD and nCPAP therapy (p = 0.092), whereas the changes in AHI in these groups were significantly larger than those in the placebo group (p = 0.000 and 0.002, respectively).

CONCLUSION:

There is no clinically relevant difference between MAD and nCPAP in the treatment of mild/moderate OSA when both treatment modalities are titrated objectively.

Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID:
20962502
DOI:
10.1159/000319595

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20962502

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

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Join Us In Dallas For The Most Turn-key Intro. To Sleep 101 Course In The Country Through The American Sleep And Breathing Academy

Many dentists start out on an arduous road with road blocks everywhere in dental sleep medicine. It doesn’t have to be like that. When you sign up for vendor sponsored courses they try to sell you products which are often old, obsolete and not beneficial at all to the success of the practice. How many of you have purchased vendor equipment that is sitting in your office which you have never even taken out of the box? We’ve all been there. This is why the ASBA does not allow vendor sponsored training at the intro to sleep courses. ASBA mentors are the top dentists in the country in treating sleep and have experienced all of the pot holes and road blocks so you don’t have to.

David Gergen and Dr. Rod Willey

David Gergen and Dr. Rod Willey

The next Intro to Sleep 101 course will be a two day event held in Dallas, TX on August 19-20. While all doctors and their staff members will benefit from the information provided, the agenda is going to focus on getting to the basics. It will be an in depth course on introduction to dental sleep medicine for anyone interested in treating OSA in their practice and also for the doctor who has a number of cases under their belt, but has trouble getting paid or successful results.

David Gergen, Executive Director of the ASBA and dental icon, designed the course to be taught by dentists who have formed their own business models for success. After spearheading the largest sleep apnea awareness event in the world that attracted 3,000 attendees in January 2016, Dr. Neal Seltzer of Long Island, NY stated, “David Gergen has done more for dental sleep medicine in the last four years than the entire industry has done in the last 30 combined.” Through the last four years, Gergen has brought NFL legends to the ASBA team that have become advocates to not only dental sleep medicine, but to the members of the academy as well. ASBA members have partnered with Pro Player Health Alliance and NFL stars such as Eric Dickerson, Tony Dorsett, Michael Irvin, Roy Green, Ed Too Tall Jones and Derek Kennard. It is almost certain that Gergen will be bringing iconic Cowboys to this event for autographs, pictures and possible marketing opportunities.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Rod Willey, Diplomate of the ASBA and the largest standalone dental sleep practice in the country with over 60 cases/month and holds the record for 106 successfully treated cases in a single month. As a master of navigating the medical world, he will be teaching you techniques that will put you in network with insurance companies so you can spend your time and energy giving your patients a better quality of life instead of losing it on back end work. Dr. Stacey Layman- also a Diplomate of the ASBA- a proven winner in dental sleep medicine practicing in the beautiful Arrowhead Lakes Community of Arizona and Owner of Go Go Billing, will enlighten guests on the secrets to billing in office for oral appliance therapy. Additional speakers will spotlight staff training, things they wish they knew before treating sleep apnea and how to be more involved in the community. This course will give you an easy-to-follow cook book for success in dental sleep medicine.

Don’t let the amateurs teach you bad techniques. Learn from the experts who have years and thousands of cases behind them. Not only will you receive a wealth of information, attendees will be granted 16 CES and a membership with the ASBA. Sign up for Intro to Sleep 101 to receive instant access to the ASBA’s vast library of sleep articles, journals and papers. In addition, You will also receive Breathless, the official weekly newsletter of the ASBA.

 

To learn more about the American Sleep and Breathing Academy go to:

Americansleepandbreathingacademy.com

 

Event Details

Date:                 August 19-20, 2016

 

Location:         Cooper Hotel and Conference Center

12230 Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75230

 

Any questions please call 602-478-9713 or direct them via email to info@myasba.com

 

Americansleepandbreathingacademy.com

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

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The ASBA Feeds 40 New Patients To Its Members in Under a Month!

This year at a dental sleep meeting in Colorado, there was a noticeably different buzz going on amongst its attendees. The topic of conversation within groups of doctors was not the speakers or lecture content but the ever growing American Sleep and Breathing Academy “ASBA”. Why? The answer to that question is quite simple. The ASBA is the only Academy that works tirelessly for its members, both individually and collectively. With a full week still left in June, this month alone, the ASBA has placed 40 new patients with Academy Doctors. In addition to feeding patients directly to our members, the backing of former and current NFL and NBA stars such as  Marcus Allen Eric Dickerson, Chuck Foreman and Roy Green, is a marketing gold mine that is exclusive to the American Sleep and Breathing Academy membership.

ASBA Member Sleep Apnea
Eric Dickerson and David Gergen

In addition, the ASBA promotes non vendor education as another way to advance the profession and push for oral appliance therapy as the benchmark treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). ASBA membership affords you the ability, through online and in person course options, to receive the newest information in treatment, billing and case studies from the most successful dentists treating OSA in the nation. In addition, the moment you become a member you will receive constant updates regarding state/federal guidelines and reimbursement information. This is just one more way that the ASBA is giving our doctors a leg up on non-members.

If you thought that wasn’t enough, congressmen/congresswomen and special committees formed by the ASBA are fighting politically for dentists as a whole. In an industry where CPAP is vastly over prescribed and reimbursement for it is plummeting, one of the most important goals of the Academy is to catapult oral appliance therapy into the go to treatment for OSA. On September 27th, key members of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, along with NFL icons Roy Green, Eric Dickerson, Marcus Allen, Congressmen Marty Russo, Congressmen Jim McGovern, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, and Senator Chris Dodd will be in front of a special congressional committee to discuss just that.

Aside from aggressively fighting for your rights as a dentist in the sleep medicine space, from a marketing standpoint, the ASBA is unrivaled. The Academy magazine, Sleep and Wellness, features articles on ASBA members every issue and distribution in over 100,000 medical and non-medical offices gives our members a reach that they could not obtain on their own.

Now is your time. Do not be left behind while the American Sleep and Breathing Academy and its members continue to revolutionize dental sleep medicine. Join us and let us fight for you!

Membership

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

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Heat-Cured Hard Acrylic VS Dual Laminate Appliances

Weekend courses teaching oral appliance therapy are conducted all over the country and with over 100 commercially available oral appliances it can be really difficult to navigate the appliance selection process. Considering the mechanical functioning of the appliance is essential when determining which one to choose for treatment, but often times the material used to construct the appliance is equally as important and overlooked. Two of the most generally known materials are heat-cured hard acrylic and dual laminates. Studies have shown that while there are advantages and disadvantages to each material, most doctors favor heat-cured hard acrylic appliances because they have a compelling superiority over the latter when it comes to fitting, repairs, longevity and patient comfort.

Some of the most pressing issues in doctors’ offices are fitting the appliance correctly in the patient’s mouth. Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can sometimes be so severe that doctors don’t have time to send back an appliance to be remade if it doesn’t fit. National statistics show a lower percentage of remakes in hard acrylic formed appliances. The reason for this can partly be credited to ease of modification chairside due to minor cosmetic dental changes. If anything changes in the patient’s mouth for example, the addition of a crown, a completely new appliance must be created as realignment can’t be done in laminate appliances. On a hard acrylic appliance, the appliance can sometimes be ground to re-fit. Furthermore, the addition of clasps in hard acrylic appliances provide further retention whereas a laminate appliance does not allow for it to contain clasps.

Repairs are inevitable when it comes to oral appliances. Fortunately when repairs are necessary, the ramifications can be minimized simply by the choice of appliance design. Doctors can take a more basic approach to repairing hard acrylic appliances including, but not limited to, effortlessly bonding new acrylic to cracks or chips in their own. Mending a laminate appliance can become more complicated when considering the soft liner located on the inside. Many times that same soft layer has been shown to absorb moisture and start to yellow with bacteria. Unfortunately this is not a matter of repair, rather a matter of replacement.

Gergen’s Orthodontic Lab, which is the largest manufacturer of the Sleep Herbst in the country, has seen hard acrylic appliances last over to 20 years. Regrettably, the soft layer in laminate appliances always eventually loses the bond to the hard layer- meaning it will always peel apart over time, leading to the doctor sending it back to the manufacturing lab to be rebuilt.

Typically patient comfort is one of the cornerstones of the decision making process in choosing treatments. While each of the designs have equal amounts of pros and cons to patient satisfaction, time and time again there have been proven patterns and methods that demonstrate it is easier to overcome the cons associated with treatment via hard acrylic appliances. This is contrary to general belief being that dual laminates are more comfortable. Moreover, tongue space is greatly reduced in dual laminate appliances due to the extra layer being present.

All things considered, both hard acrylic and dual laminate appliances grant favorable benefits in many cases. Clearly though when taking into account the comparison of both designs regarding fitting, repairs, longevity and patient comfort the preferred choice when selecting one of the two is the hard acrylic design more often than not.

Alan Hickey

Alan Hickey

Publisher of Sleep Diagnosis and Therapy Journal the Official publication of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, the Journal is a clinical and technical publication for dental and medical professionals.

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Sleep Scholar for Sleep Medicine Professionals