Dan and Trina Webster understand the torment felt by sleep-deprived people. Dan’s incessant snoring resulted in sleepless nights for Trina, and the couple’s frustration escalated dramatically when their first daughter, Hannah, was born. The old cliché “banned to the living room couch” became a nightly routine, and the baby and new mom’s sleep still were disturbed by his snores even a room away. Dan’s personal journey resulted in an unforgettable story. While looking for a solution for the Webster family, the couple have become true leaders in the sleep appliance marketplace. Now, each night more than a half a million consumers place their ZQuiet signature snoring appliances in their mouths, transforming their nights from incessant intolerable snoring to a world where, “all through the house, not a creature is stirring not even a spouse!”
Dan’s quest for a resolution was first to visit his primary care physician in the small Vermont town where they lived – and on to a specialist who recommended elective airway surgery. The recovery was lengthy and painful. Since the surgery was not covered by insurance, it was also very expensive. But what hurt the most was after a few weeks, the snoring returned – just as badly as before.
The family was at a loss about what to do next. Determined to find a solution, Dan learned about oral appliance therapy, tried a mandibular advancement device, and the Webster’s lives literally changed overnight! Dan and Trina were surprised that this simple straightforward option wasn’t more readily available and known by the consumer community. Dan never would have had to go through the unsuccessful surgery in the first place. Dan and Trina decided to embark on a personal mission to investigate snoring appliances, become more aware of the best options, and then focus on educating consumers like them. They found that there really wasn’t an easy-to-use, affordable option available and decided to create their own. In 2008, working in conjunction with a renowned reputable dental sleep practitioner, an engineer, and using Dan’s own background as a gifted sculptor, the ZQuiet consumer appliance was born along with their company, Sleeping Well LLC. Money was raised, a patent was secured, and FDA clearance was granted.
Seven years later, ZQuiet is the leading consumer brand in snoring treatment. Dan and Trina’s mission of educating the consumer community on the concept of Oral Appliance Therapy has been realized through TV, radio, and social media, reaching millions of Americans.
But the story does not end there!
Recognizing the correlation between snoring and sleep apnea and its association with numerous medical risks, a new mission arose. It’s hard to believe, but an estimated 22 million consumers suffer from sleep apnea, and a whopping 85% are undiagnosed.
Working in conjunction with John T. Herald, DDS, a 20-year veteran in sleep dentistry, Sleeping Well, LLC entered the dental sleep medicine market with a custom oral appliance created to treat both snoring and sleep apnea, obtained FDA 510k clearance, and the ZQuiet Pro Plus was launched. Now Dan and Trina could communicate the correlation between snoring and sleep apnea to their formidable customer base as well as the consumer community as a whole. They could not only encourage these people to be screened and tested for sleep apnea, but also extend their trusted line of appliances, keeping it all in the family.
To assist Dental Sleep Practitioners increase the number of sleep cases and grow their practice, they are creating a national dentist locator. This patient marketing program will fully leverage the expansive consumer reach ZQuiet has with snoring – they have over a half million existing customers – by listing trained sleep dentists on their website. Webster notes, “For us, it’s simple. We want to get as many people screened, tested, and treated as possible. Connecting consumers with trained dental sleep medicine practitioners is further helping our mission of better sleep and better health.”
Recognizing the importance of providing a complete continuum in oral appliance therapy, Dan continued to develop appliances to meet the diverse needs of the individual patient and the preferences of the dental sleep practitioner. Beyond the introductory, interim device, ZQuiet offers a complete line of professional lab-fabricated custom appliances: ZQuiet Pro-Plus, ZQuiet Pro Herbst, and ZQuiet Pro Flex.
The ZQuiet S.A. Interim Appliance is a breakthrough product. It is highlighted on page 46 in DSP’s product spotlight section.
As Webster states, “The innovative ZQuiet S.A. offers a temporary but immediate solution to both the newly diagnosed and those currently in treatment. Our goal in developing the ZQuiet S.A. was to provide a product that fills the important need of offering immediate relief for patients as part of a continuum of uninterrupted patient care in their treatment protocol.”
The ZQuiet S.A.’s open tray design requires no boiling, molding, forming, or impressions, requiring virtually no chair time, which creates efficiency in the practice and time to see more patients. The device retention is cleverly created by the resilient hinging, which gently keeps it in contact with the dentition. Webster notes, “The beauty of the device’s simplicity is that it doesn’t compete or take the place of the custom appliance so there is no risk of losing the sale of the custom appliance. Dentists appreciate the health value of using a temporary appliance to provide immediate patient relief. Additionally, the price point is so low, they don’t even hesitate to fold the cost of the device into the treatment, providing a nice value-add to the patient.”
Regarding the ZQuiet Pro-Plus, Pro Herbst, and Pro Flex
“We researched the market and determined that the traditional dorsal fin and Herbst style devices were the most popular and preferred appliances by both the practitioners and patients alike. With the ZQuiet Pro Plus and the ZQuiet Pro Herbst, we now offer both of these popular appliances in our product line at a very competitive price.” Both are available in hard or soft linings and can be customized to meet the dentist’s personal build specifications. The ZQuiet Pro Flex is the lightest and thinnest lab appliance available and is nearly invisible when worn. The advanced thermoplastic is stronger than acrylic which allows the appliance to be built with minimal bulk, and it is stain and odor resistant.
The tried and true designs of the ZQuiet Pro Plus and ZQuiet Pro Herbst devices are not unlike the appliances dentists may be ordering currently. The biggest difference is that ZQuiet widely markets OAT to consumers through national TV, radio and Internet marketing programs. Dental professionals can leverage the awareness created by ZQuiet to provide custom OAT devices where they are prescribed.
As the Managing Editor of Dental Sleep Practice magazine, and as the founder of the Pride Best of Class Technology Awards, I am exposed to hundreds of dental companies every year. Every once in a while, a company comes along that really gets it right. One that is driven to make a difference; that is totally dedicated to its products and its cause. One that makes you proud to be a customer. Such a company is ZQuiet, and more specifically, Dan and Trina Webster. Their appliances are well thought out and beautifully constructed combining science with the esthetic eye of a sculptor. They stand by their work and their untiring mission to improve the quality of life of their customers. They are not a billion dollar company with a sleep appliance line, nor a multinational public company. They are the kind of company that is totally dedicated to its dentists, and one any of us would be proud to be involved in. If you are attending AADSM, drop by booth 412, or pick up the phone and call Dan or Trina. Then you will understand how fortunate we are to have them as part of our dental community and how much they have added to the famous ending “to all a good night.”