Kettenbach is now breathing a bit easier. The company’s acquisition of Airway Metrics, previously announced in January, became effective at the end of business on Feb. 28. Through this acquisition, Kettenbach enters a new product category, offering an innovative measurement system to dentists who provide obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) appliances. The Airway Metrics system also complements Kettenbach’s bite registration material, providing a one-stop-shop for sleep dentistry tools and materials.
Although dentists currently can’t diagnose the medical problem of OSA, they should be able to recognize signs and symptoms and assist patients seeking treatment, which may include a mandibular advancement appliance. It’s imperative that this appliance is adjusted and fitted to the patient as accurately as possible. That’s where Airway Metrics provides assistance.
The system contains 3 components:
1. Snore Screener
The Airway Metrics system begins with the Score Screener, a measurement tool which uses the patient’s oral snore sound to identify the A-P/V (anterior-posterior/vertical) zone for further refinement. A dentist arbitrarily assigns #5 to the patient’s best snore sound. The patient then snores in selected anterior positions at a 4, 8, and 12 mm vertical to locate the lowest possible sound. Each position is rated at #5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0, with 0 indicating no snoring.
2. Mandibular Positioning Simulators (MPS)
After the Snore Screener has identified the quietest position, MPS tuning allows the dentist and patient to identify the optimum airway and most comfortable treatment position for the device. Conveniently housed in a cassette, Airway Metrics’ 15 MPS allow positioning in more than 50 mandibular positions by placing the incisal edges of the upper and lower central incisors into the appropriate notches. The patient is an active participant as they place the MPS between their teeth under the dentist’s guidance and instruction. Working forward from a smaller vertical and less protruded position can build the patient’s confidence and awareness of how the mandible’s position influences their upper airway. Meanwhile, the dentist records the patient’s subjective impression of their airway flow and jaw comfort at each position.
3. Bite Fork & Handle
The third and final component of the Air Metrics system is the bite fork and handle, which fits into the opposite end slots of the selected MPS to obtain a bite registration at the desired anterior/vertical starting position. Registration paste is then placed on the top and bottom of the fork, excluding the cuspid-to-cuspid area, to preserve a clear visual of the anatomical center during closure. Additional paste can be injected upon closure to cover the upper and lower open segments.
Kettenbach offers Futar registration material, which is available in various degrees of hardness and setting times. To learn more, find out why Dr. George Priest, a private practitioner in Hilton Head Island, SC, uses Futar in his practice.
Once the device is made, the included titration keys provide vertical titration/simulation for any device that opens in the anterior. Much like the MPS are secured between the teeth for different vertical positions, the titration keys are held in place between the device components when the patient applies a modest closing pressure. Adjustments can then be made, per the device manufacturer.
To watch simulations of how each component works in the system, visit www.airwaymetrics.com. Also, check out the system protocol video below featuring Dr. Nicole Chenet of Pittsburgh, PA.