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AccuTherm®– Sometimes the simplest solution is the best

In July 1975, the US and the USSR conducted a joint space flight called the “Apollo-Soyuz Test Project”.  It involved the docking of an Apollo Command module and the Soviet Soyuz 19 capsule.  The story that emerged from that fateful day when the Astronauts met illustrates our desire to overcome every challenge with a technical solution. Even when a simple solution is right in front of us…..

The two Astronauts were tasked with many things but recording all the activities with detailed notes was a requirement of both sides.  The American had come prepared to show off our American ingenuity and superiority.  He pulled out a paper notebook and what looked like a standard issue government ball point pen and started to take notes. But this was not any ordinary pen. He explained that the US had spent years developing this writing instrument that would be able to work in the zero gravity conditions of space.  No small achievement.  As he smiled, he asked what the Soviet had brought to overcome this highly technical problem.  The Soviet pulled out his paper notebook and his writing instrument.  A pencil.

Sometimes the simple solution is the best. 

Pierre Fauchard published the first medical literature dealing with dentistry in 1728, establishing a new medical specialty.  Soon after the first prosthetic teeth were made of various techniques and materials, most famously illustrated by George Washington’s wooden dentures.  At that point in the history of dentistry, the most vexing problem was exposed.  The difficulty of obtaining an accurate impression and model work to build good fitting restorations.

For the first 100 years of dentistry, we primarily used beeswax and plaster of Paris to obtain the impression.  Prior to WWII, a fantastic new material was developed called Alginate.  Since the 1950s, new rubber-based, silicone-based and in recent times polyvinylsiloxane materials have been used.  Each material superior to the previous.  In that last 10 years, digital scanning devices have been successfully used to record the most detailed impressions.

But even with the most accurate PVS impressions or digital scans, dentists and labs still struggle with the number one issue – Fit.   

How can fit still be an issue with our high tech solutions available today?  Turns out the devil is in the details and our details are measured in microns.  Analog impressions require following a precise procedure to properly cure the material.  Pulls and distortions are typical issues.  Add in a gagging patient with lots of saliva and the task becomes more difficult.   Digital impressions also must overcome gagging and saliva, but in addition, require sophisticated software to “stitch” together the many images.  The algorithm doing the “stitching” can cause small inaccuracies.  These issues are easier to conquer when the dentist is restoring a single tooth.  But full arch, upper and lower, making sure the distal surfaces of the lower, most posterior molars are captured, is way more difficult.  On top of that, between the time the impression is taken and the appliance is delivered, teeth move!

Introducing AccuTherm.  This tray allows the clinician to achieve a perfect fit on every case. 

Airway Management (AMI) has a long history of developing tools and devices to treat sleep disordered breathing. As a pioneer in the field of Dental Sleep Medicine (DSM), many of the most popular tools have come from AMI.   Think AM Aligner®and myTAP®as examples that are ubiquitous in DSM practices.  One of the first adjustable mandibular advancement devices, the TAP 1, was used by trail blazing DSM dentists in 1996.  For TAP devices, the hardware is the feature that receives the most attention and development.  But the trays that support the hardware are where “the rubber meets the road”, or where the “device meets the teeth”.

Many of Airway Management’s in-house laboratory clients have used a tray system lined with ThermAcryl®. This heat activated thermoplastic allows the clinician to simply warm up the tray for a final fit in the dental chair. For the advanced clients, the ThermAcryl®-lined trays fit the first time.  However, the old design requires the dental practice to be skilled at manipulating this material for best results.  Once the skills have been obtained, they get excellent results in a productive DSM practice.  In 2019, Airway Management is introducing a new version of this tray that is much simpler for any practice to take advantage.

Introducing, the new patented tray system, AccuTherm®. The biggest breakthrough with the AccuTherm trays has been manufacturing dual laminate discs of PET-G Polycarbonate with a thin layer of ThermAcryl®.  While this simplifies the manufacturing process in the dental laboratory, the main advantage is with the dental practice.  The thin layer of ThermAcryl® doesn’t require the technical mastery of the first version.  On top of all that, the tray is only 3.1mm thick.  Our thinnest custom tray ever.  Patients love it.

Just Heat and Seat.  No handpiece required.

Those of us that have used mandibular advancement devices on ourselves are familiar with process.  The little bit of pressure we feel on various teeth is just part of the game, but by utilizing the heat and seat process with AccuTherm®, there is NO pressure on ANY teeth.  Kind of like the feeling of floating in a pool, or as I can imagine, floating in zero gravity space like our proud Astronauts.  For a dental appliance, this is completely different than the norm and feels great.

This changes everything.  If you order a TAP appliance with AccuTherm®trays:

Here’s what you DON’T need to worry about:

  • Buying expensive new equipment – Use what you already have
  • Learning new technical procedures or software
  • Purchasing expensive materials
  • Sending remakes to the lab for poor fit
  • Making another appointment for a new impression for the lab.
  • Wasting chairtime and the embarrassment of grinding out an appliance.

Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Every case will fit, every time.
  • New Crowns – No problem. AccuTherm®will re-form to the new dental work
  • Excellent retention – Snap fit PET-G shell with custom fit ThermAcryl liner “sticks” the seating
  • A long-lasting device – based on the successful previous trays from AMI (Double Thick PET-G)
  • A more productive DSM practice. –  spend more face time with your patients.
  • A more confident staff – knowing how every seating is going to be great.
  • Happy patients –  the best fitting, most comfortable device on the market!

The most important aspect of any device is the confidence that it will work.  In the past 25 years, over 500,000 TAP appliances have been delivered.  During that time, over 38 peer reviewed studies have been done on the TAP.  It works. Patients are getting the most studied, most popular device in the history of DSM, now with the most comfortable tray system.

If you are new to DSM or a veteran that delivers 50 devices a month, AccuTherm®trays will help your practice.  Don’t stress about your impressions.  Don’t stress about seating appointments.  Prescribe TAP with AccuTherm®.

Patrick Tessier, MBA

Director of Dental Business Development

Airway Management