We all know that sleep is crucial to our everyday functioning. More than that, sleep is restorative and critical to general health and well-being. I have seen first hand the detrimental effects that poor sleep and lack of sleep can have on one’s health. This month, Annie McBride, ResMed’s Sr. Product Manager, Dental Sleep Business, took some time to answer 5 Questions and share some insights on how the company is helping health care providers to enable patients to get a better night’s sleep.
Michael Dunn: Tell us about ResMed. What products and services do you offer?
Annie McBride: ResMed develops new and innovative treatments for sleep-disordered breathing, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory conditions. The company was founded more than 25 years ago to commercialize the first CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy for sleep apnea, and has since grown to more than 4,000 global employees with operations in more than 100 countries around the world. ResMed’s products include devices, masks, humidifiers, accessories and dental appliances to treat sleep apnea and related respiratory conditions; healthcare informatics solutions for both providers and patients, including diagnostics, monitoring and data management technologies; and S+, the world’s first non-contact sleep tracker for general consumers.
MD: What type of dental devices does ResMed produce?
AM: There are several types of oral appliance therapies available to treat sleep apnea, and one of the most popular is the mandibular repositioning device (MRD), which holds the lower jaw in a forward position during sleep to keep the airway open. In this category, ResMed offers Narval CC, a customized device with an innovative design that uses advanced computer-aided design (CAD) and manufacturing (CAM) technology.
Because we believe compliance is directly related to comfort, the device was engineered to offer patients greater comfort than ever before. We decreased bulk by using lighter materials, expanded tongue space and enabled freedom of ventricular mandibular movement, so patients can still speak and drink while in function. And we’ve had overwhelmingly positive responses with the product so far. In a recent clinical study, patients wore their Narval CC 6.7 hours/night 6.6 nights/week .
MD: What makes ResMed unique compared to similar companies?
AM: One of ResMed’s key differentiators is its strong emphasis on research and development, with around 8% of total revenue spent on R&D. We believe this has contributed to our status as the global leader in development of medical products for the diagnosis, treatment and management of sleep and respiratory disorders, and one of the reasons why we continue to innovate and produce high-quality treatment options for patients in need.
One of our R&D initiatives in dental includes ORCADES, a five-year multicenter study on MRDs, and the results confirm positive findings from previous studies. Findings from ORCADES include an 84% success rate, irrespective of obstructive sleep apnea severity; a reduction of apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) to fewer than 10 in 63% of patients; significant reduction of the oxygen desaturation index, from 21 to 8; loud snoring completely resolved in 90% of patients affected; and quality of life, fatigue score and sleep quality significantly improved . Studies like these help ensure all of our offerings are successful in improving the health and lives of our patients, and we believe this strong commitment is one that separates us from our competitors.
MD: What trends do you think will have the biggest impact on the dental industry in the next 5-10 years?
AM: One area we’re seeing gain traction is intraoral digital scanning. It’s a practice that has been in existence for many years, but has only recently begun permeating sleep. Many see this technology as a way to help boost efficiencies and create more accurate sleep appliances more quickly. With this in mind, we’re looking into enabling this type of technology and are excited for what its application could mean for our customers.
MD: What is the best way for dentists to add sleep support to their practices?
AM: We work with 14 dental laboratories in the US and Canada to serve dentists interested in supporting sleep at his/her practice. Obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition, but MRD treatment requires dental expertise to ensure proper patient selection and selection of oral appliance therapy, making dentists a truly important part of the multidisciplinary teams working to treat sleep apnea. With Narval CC for example, dentists send impressions or plaster models of their patients to our lab partners who then provide us with the scans and models that we use to design and manufacture the devices. Dentists interested in adding sleep to his/her practice can check out ResMed’s Dental Practitioner Guide for background, or the Narval CC order form to get started. ResMed also hosts a quarterly webinar with active treating clinicians to showcase the variety of cases Narval can address.
1. JC Meurice et al. Orcades. A prospective cohort study of severe obstructive sleep apnea patients receiving second line-treatment with a mandibular repositioning device (CAD/CAM; Narval)
Thank you, Annie and ResMed, for participating in 5 Questions With… If you would like to learn more about ResMed, visit ResMed.com. And as always, thank you for reading.