“You’re responsible for your occlusion. I’m responsible for your airway at night.”
One of the biggest side effects or complaints of oral appliance therapy is morning malocclusion, or temporary morning bite change. The AM Aligner® morning repositioner is included with every TAP appliance that goes out the door.
Key Features of the New AM Aligner
The AM Aligner is made of a unique thermoplastic material that is heated and fit to take a registration of the patient’s bite before starting oral appliance therapy. The below features are all an improvement over the classic AM Aligner:
- Handle (tab) allows for easier initial fitting and daily use
- Shorter heating time and fitting time compared to the classic AM Aligner
- Turns clear when it is ready to use
- Thermoplastic flow allows it to adapt to teeth precisely
- Material is thinner, comfortable, resilient, and flexible
- Duplicates patient’s original bite perfectly to tolerance of 20 microns
- Rugged, virtually indestructible and does not wear with use
- New white color vs tan color of classic AM Aligner
- Material rebounds to original shape on reheating, allowing refitting
How to Fit the New AM Aligner
It’s Important to Fit Your Patient’s Aligner in Office
First, the AM Aligner takes as little as 10 minutes to fit. It’s a no-brainer for you or your office staff to explain the importance of this morning tool and to fit them with it when you deliver their oral appliance.
The most critical thing is to get the original contacts contacting every time in the morning. When I talk to a patient, I ask them to bite down on their back teeth. Squeeze. Put your fingers on your jaw muscles. Feel them popping out. Can you feel your back teeth? I tell them, what I want you to do is when you bite down on the aligner, bite down as hard as you can until you can feel that muscle. It’s important that the patient feels their back teeth, not the front teeth.
Watch Dr. Keith Thornton unveil the New AM Aligner at the Spencer Study Club meeting in Dallas, TX of May 2022.
History of AM Aligner
“This is one of my best inventions.” – Dr. Keith Thornton
Dr. Keith Thornton developed the first repositioners for oral appliances for sleep apnea in 1994. At that time, he observed some orthodontic and orthopedic movement of the teeth and jaws. Dr. Thornton reported on this in a paper published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in 1996. The initial repositioners were bite tabs made from football mouthguard material. Since then, Airway Management, Inc., has developed numerous ones including the present AM Aligner.