Sleep Dentists: A Big Hit at NFLPA Annual Convention

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Dr. Anthony Scianni, NFL Great Brenden Stai and Dr. Archie Roberts, Founder of Living Heart Foundation

The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) recently chose Scottsdale, Arizona, to host its annual meeting for player representatives. Along with usual discussions of player wages, benefits, and positional elections, the Pro Player Health Alliance (PPHA), Living Heart Foundation, and Redirect Health offered free health screenings for former players.

More than 100 retired players took advantage of the screenings where they were assessed for body composition, blood pressure, pulmonary function, hearing, sleep apnea, and more. American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA) Diplomates, Dr. Mark Castle, Dr. Dian Olah, Dr. Anthony Scianni and Dr. Kevin Mueller, were chosen to oversee the sleep apnea screenings. They later became known as the “Dream Team” by the end of the event, because they were able to help every player to get tested and referred to an ASBA dental sleep specialist for oral appliance therapy.

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Dr. Rodolfo Ferrate speaking with a retired NFL player about sleep apnea

Dr. Rodolfo Ferrate, M.D., who flew from Utah to assist with the screenings at the NFLPA meeting, explained sleep apnea and its harmful effects. Dr. Ferrate mentioned, “A lot of these players know they have issues with sleep disordered breathing during the night, but many of them simply haven’t been properly educated on how detrimental it can be to their health. These screenings are necessary to not only examine overall health, but to put the former players on the right path to a better quality of life by letting them know what’s happening to their body and showing them treatment options.”

 

For more information about overall health screenings for former NFL players, more information about the ASBA, or how to become a Diplomate of the ASBA, call David Gergen at 602-478-9713 or visit 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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A Rising Star in Dental Sleep Medicine – Dr. Anthony Scianni, DASBA

A year ago, nobody knew who Dr. Anthony Scianni was in dental sleep medicine . In only six months after joining the American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA), he has been elected to the board of the ASBA and now is one of the fastest rising stars in dental sleep medicine. He is the only dentist selected by David Gergen and the Pro Players Health Alliance to treat former pro football players for obstructive sleep apnea in the  New Jersey chapter of the  National Football League Players Association (NFLPA). At the Pro Bowl game, a fan in the stands walked up to him and David Gergen and said, “You are the guys doing dental sleep medicine for the national football league aren’t you?” Gergen leaned in and mentioned to Scianni things like this will  be happening more and more as he continued to work with the former players.

 

The NFL is multifaceted and yet very tight niched. Recently, a 42 million dollar dental program for general dentistry paid for by an NFL fund was presented to David Gergen and the Pro Players Health Alliance to administer and manage. Gergen being in orthodontics and removable appliances (TMD/Sleep) his entire career, knew he needed to reach out to a dental expert. Because of his success with Gergen in the ASBA and the NFLPA dental sleep program, his first thought was to turn to Dr. Anthony Scianni. Dr.Scianni, who is a well respected dentist with over 20 years of experience in general dentistry and dental insurance, served as  an dental insurance consultant for over 8 year right out of dental school.  Gergen instantly knew that this was a perfect fit for the new NFL program. Gergen is always loyal to the former players and his industry – dentistry. So he knew he had to find a way to make sure the fund will be managed and administered properly and at the same time be confident that the former players still  receive their maximum dental benefits. Gergen and Scianni will roll out in April the first ever NFLPA dental program paid for by the fund – up to $2,000 per player annually. Dr. Scianni has be named the Managing Director of Pro Player Health Alliance.

 

A New Jersey native, Dr. Scianni graduated from Rutgers University in 1982. With a Bachelors Degree in microbiology and business, Dr. Scianni entered dental school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He received his D.M.D. degree in 1986 and graduated at the top his class with honors. Since graduating from dental school, Dr Scianni has followed a tradition of high-quality dentistry with personalized care. His philosophy is to use the latest techniques and technology to help maintain the patient’s oral health.

 

Strongly committed to ongoing professional education, Dr. Scianni participates in many continuing education courses, seminars and clinics. He has attended over 1000 hours of continuing education in implant, cosmetic and restorative dentistry and sleep disordered breathing. He has received advanced training in implant dentistry from N.Y.U. College of Dentistry as well as  advanced training in cosmetic and restorative dentistry from some of the world’s most renowned clinicians. Dr. Scianni is affiliated with multiple dental associations including; the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry,  the American Academy of Oral Implantologist, and the American Sleep and Breathing Academy. He is also an expert contributing writer for a local magazine.

 

Dr. Scianni has over two decades of practicing dentistry in New Jersey and relocated his practice, Renaissance Smiles to Colts Neck, NJ in 1993. Through his constant pursuit for perfection, Dr. Scianni incorporates the latest technology and the most advanced techniques to provide his patients with the highest level of care possible. Dr. Scianni and his team are committed to staying up to date on the most recent advances in dentistry and the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. As his general practice grew and through hs treatment of patients over many years, Dr. Scianni recognized that many of his patients had sleep disordered breathing problems that were not being diagnosed or treated by their physicians.

 

Because Dr. Scianni has found it increasingly important to devote more time and resources to the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea which affects over 18 million people and which is largely undiagnosed, he has opened  The Center for Dental Sleep Medicine. If you have any questions about general dentistry, dental sleep medicine or you want to be part of the Pro Player Health Alliance programs, contact 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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VIDEO – Learn the Most Effective and Successful Way to Take a Bite, Oral Appliance Therapy

This is demonstrated up close and hands on at the American Sleep and Breathing Academy annual meeting. Register at http://www.sleep-conference.com.

Oral appliance therapy is considered an effective treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The appliance functions by supporting the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway. When utilized properly, it is worn at night and fits like a mouth guard used in sports. The success of the appliance, however, depends largely on the quality of the bite registration taken. While many view the process as an uncomplicated procedure, if it is not done using the correct technique with precision it could negatively impact the treatment.

The late Dr. Robert Ricketts DDS, NMD who was a well-known and arguably the greatest orthodontist of all time, leader in orthodontic instruction as a professor and a noted researcher in many areas of dentistry including craniofacial growth and development, TMJ, orthodontics and esthetics invented what is known as the the Ricketts Phonetic Bite. The Ricketts Phonetic bite may be used for patients suffering from snoring or obstructive sleep apnea and it determines the position of the mandible that creates the so-called sweet spot for patients using oral appliance therapy. Instructions are as follows:

  1. The dentist should instruct the patient to sit upright in the chair.
  1. The dentist should instruct the patient to count out loud numbers 55-75. Notice numbers 5, 8, 9 for vertical opening and 66 for maximum anterior posterior positioning. If you do not get the desired AP with the “ss” sound, you can use the second “s” sound, “sh” to acquire the max AP. The “n” sound in 69 will drop their mandible vertically as well and give you their full natural opening. The “n” sound is a straight vertical drop wherever you’re at in speech; using the word “shun” is another method for obtaining the best AP position.
  1. The dentist should use a round surfaced instrument as opposed to a flat one (for anterior stabilization during the registration) between teeth #8 and #9 to hold that position of the jaw.
  1. Use a fast set bite registration material to capture the bite.

You will always want to start with having the patient occlude their teeth a few times in order to make a mental image of their natural occlusion. Having the patient counting those numbers should give you a feel for the most balanced yet natural vertical opening.

All three types of basic classes of anterior occlusion must open to disclude the posterior teeth in order to allow a person to speak, and when “ss” sounds must be made, at least 1 to 1.5 mm of clearance must be developed between the upper and lower central incisors. Note that saying “s” will not be sufficient; you will actually have to force the sound to occur using it in a word, as seen during the count in numbers that contain the “ss” sound or like with the word “Mississippi”.

Click here to watch the video: David Gergen Demonstrates the Ricketts Phonetic Bite with Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl Champion, Derek Kennard

The amount of disclusion depends on the degree of forward movement of the teeth from centric relation to their “ss” position. These movements define the incisal guide angle and represent vertical and horizontal overlaps of the teeth. Thus, the greater the forward movement, the greater the amount of posterior disclusion and the resultant “s” space – or posterior speaking space as found in the number “66” and word “Mississippi”.

Once again, repeat these steps a few times to make sure you get the same results. It is important to capture the optimum vertical as it is much harder to adjust after the appliance is fabricated. After using this technique, utilize the Airway Metric System by placing the correct jigs correlating with the sleep bite for reference. Lean the patient back in the chair and see if they can snore. If they cannot, ball game over. I specifically instruct doctors to only use the Ricketts Phonetic Bite with NFL players because of the accuracy and rate of success. For example, Super Bowl Champion Derek Kennard’s AHI went from a 72 to 2 on the first try using this technique.

This is demonstrated up close and hands on at the American Sleep and Breathing Academy annual meeting. Register at http://www.sleep-conference.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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