Exciting New Project/Study
Over the past 8 years, Dr. Alpher has been working on a project related to advances in oral appliance titration and how to condense the entire process from beginning to end. He was recently awarded a research grant to implement this study and will be working jointly with several other medical professionals and researchers to accomplish this process.
With Dr. Alpher’s extensive knowledge of the causes, symptoms and consequences of Obstructive Sleep Apnea this study with the innovative and advanced technology will allow easier and more efficient and accurate treatment for the patient. He is hopeful that this process will aid in patient compliance and success, and the ability to treat a wider range of patients who suffer with OSA.
Dr. Alpher is using an ICAT 3D imaging system, which produces detailed imaging of the entire head and neck. It was specifically custom designed for Dr. Alpher and is the only one of it’s kind in the country.
The entire scan of the head and neck takes a mere 8 seconds and produces color images of the complete sinus system, nasal structures and cervical spine, including C1-C7.
This clinical study is aimed at diagnosing and accessing the effectiveness of therapy in active and retired athletes of all sports utilizing new smartphone technology.
The first part of the study will be screening former players who may be at risk for OSA, which is over 40% according to multiple studies. Once a diagnosis and treatment plan are established, the qualified practitioners will implement either CPAP or Oral Appliance therapy.
The second part of the study will focus on 10 players who are now successfully being treated with an oral appliance. The new smartphone app, which is currently under development, will be used to streamline the titration process by determining the best jaw position/settings for unobstructed sleep. This study has the potential to make the entire process of a diagnosis and treatment simple and precise.
At present, when a patient receives an oral appliance it takes several appointments to correctly calibrate the most effective and comfortable position. This process is expensive and time consuming for the patient and presents a considerable challenge to the sleep dentist.
It is extremely important to determine the correct settings otherwise a risk of moving the mandible too far anteriorly, which has the potential to cause jaw joint pain and/or TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction). The current standard of care is to titrate over the course of 3-6 appointments. With this innovative technology the specialized dentist will now have the ability to deliver and adjust the appliance in a single visit.