SomnoMed Elevates Oral Appliance Therapy Through Its Medical Initiative™ with Research-Backed Efficacy, Quality, Comfort, and Durability

SomnoMed is at the forefront of a medical initiative that advocates adoption, acceptance, and treatment of oral appliance therapy as a primary therapy for sleep-breathing disorders.

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Olivier M. Vanderveken, MD, PhD, presents a SomnoDent® Avant™ to a patient.

SomnoMed’s Medical Initiative™

In sleep medicine, advancements pave the way for enhanced treatment modalities and improved patient outcomes. SomnoMed, the global leader in oral appliance therapy, with a presence in 28 countries and treatment of more than 860,000 patients to date, continues to spearhead innovation.

SomnoMed’s Medical Initiative™ fosters collaboration, promotes awareness, and helps drive research to facilitate adoption, acceptance, and treatment of oral appliance therapy as a primary therapy option among physicians, patients, and insurers. At the heart of this mission lies a dedication to providing the most effective and accessible treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients. Keith E. Matheny, MD, FARS, is a staunch advocate for the Medical Initiative, emphasizing its critical nature: “SomnoMed’s Medical Initiative is brilliant and fundamental in so many ways. We, as healthcare professionals collectively, are doing a poor job caring for obstructive sleep apnea. This endeavor, spearheaded by SomnoMed, changes that, by aligning sleep physicians and sleep dentists cohesively to offer oral appliance therapy as a primary treatment option alongside CPAP or surgery. It does so in a way that benefits a wider spectrum of both patients and providers from both an economic and accessibility standpoint.”

An important pillar of SomnoMed’s Medical Initiative is the quality of SomnoMed oral appliances, a primary factor that contributes to patient compliance and thereby efficacy of treatment. A recent study published in Sleep Medicine underscores how the selection of MAD design may influence treatment therapeutic effectiveness and emerge as a crucial factor in choosing the most suitable MAD for personalized treatment of individuals with moderate to severe OSA.1 The study follows 209 patients over a three-month period, comparing traditional wing-based devices with SomnoMed’s innovative SomnoDent® Avant™ – and the results were nothing short of groundbreaking.

somnodent® avant™ oral appliance
SomnoDent® Avant™ oral appliance

Advancing Oral Appliance Therapy: The Cornerstone of SomnoMed’s Mission

Supporting SomnoMed’s commitment to quality, comfort, and efficacy, the recent aforementioned study featured in Sleep Medicine sheds light on the efficacy of oral appliances as a promising first-line treatment in OSA patients.1 Analyzing 91 patients using a wing-based device and 118 using the SomnoDent Avant, the study compared efficacy of both types of devices. While the wing-based device was clinically effective, with an average reduction in Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) from 23.6 to 11 or 63% reduction in treatment (equal to the results reported by other OAT devices), the SomnoDent Avant demonstrated a remarkable statistically significant reduction in AHI from 21.6 to 6, or 70% reduction in treatment, approaching the efficacy of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy.1

The unique design of the SomnoDent Avant, with its passive mouth closing feature, plays a pivotal role in its superior effectiveness. As the recent study states: “While the results of the traditional wing-based MAD design were comparable to the therapeutic outcome with other titratable, custom-made MADs, the MAD with the passive mouth closing feature (SomnoDent Avant) showed significantly greater reduction in total AHI potentially due to encouraged nasal breathing, reduced mouth breathing, and lesser vertical opening”.1 This study is the first to differentiate efficacy among custom appliance designs and puts the unique design of SomnoDent Avant in a class entirely on its own. “Design does matter,” notes Olivier M. Vanderveken, MD, PhD. “A well thought out design in terms of the whole pathophysiology and working mechanism, high quality material that can be reproducible, supports the notion that there is a high probability that OSA patients will get better therapy outcomes.”

SomnoMed’s commitment to quality underscores the Medical Initiative’s goal to help “Treat More OSA Patients, More Effectively.” Devices milled from a single piece of dental material, like the SomnoDent Avant and the SomnoDent® Herbst Advance Elite™, feature SomnoMed’s proprietary b-flex Comfort Liner™ and a First Time Fit™, every time promise, cradling and supporting each tooth and thereby enhancing long-term patient compliance. In addition to b-flex, the PDAC-approved for Medicare E04486 Herbst Advance Elite offers the first and only full 5 Year Warranty in the industry due to utmost confidence in the device’s strength, durability, and comfort, and requires no Medicare insurance verification.

Expanding upon its innovative approach, SomnoMed’s first ever inbuilt technology-enabled oral appliance, soon to be featured in both SomnoMed’s SomnoDent Avant and SomnoDent Herbst Advance Elite, further addresses a major barrier to prescription and reimbursement rates to date: the lack of overnight monitoring in continuous open airway therapy (COAT™). With sensors that measure treatment efficacy and adherence, both physicians and dentists can view personalized patient data on a web-based portal, alongside a phone app for patients that allows them to view their own sleep data. This analysis supports SomnoMed’s Effectiveness Equation (Effectiveness = Efficacy x Compliance) and drives acknowledgement of equivalent clinical effectiveness for COAT and CPAP when considering both efficacy and compliance together.

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An OSA patient is shown SomnoMed oral appliances.

Empowering Dental Professionals

SomnoMed’s Medical Initiative extends beyond research and development; it’s also about granting providers the tools and relationships they need for effective patient treatment while empowering patients to take control of their sleep health. Suzanne Thai, DDS, highlights the transformative impact of the medical collaboration SomnoMed helps facilitate, stating: “I’m incredibly thankful for SomnoMed’s Medical Initiative! It has been a game-changer in treating sleep apnea patients. By teaming up with physicians and raising awareness, we are not just addressing sleep issues but changing lives!”

The role of SomnoMed’s Business Development Managers (BDMs) is pivotal in bridging the gap between dental professionals and medical prescribers. Located throughout the US and Canada, SomnoMed’s BDMs dedicate their time educating the medical community of MDs, DOs, PAs, NPs, and their professional staff members on oral appliance therapy as an effective, first-line treatment option for mild to moderate OSA patients. They are experts at bringing medical prescribers and SomnoMed’s robust network of sleep dentists together, with the shared goal of getting all OSA patients into the right OSA therapy at the right time. BDMs introduce sleep physicians – often personally – to highly qualified and experienced SomnoMed sleep dentist(s).

With our industry partners aligned, we can continue the journey to building the most effective and efficient treatment pathways for the patient, sleep dentist, and physician. As Brad Mechor, MD, FRCSC, notes: “There was a time when Otolaryngology encompassed EENT – eyes, ears, nose and throat. Now, I believe it should be ENTT – Ear, nose, throat and teeth! Being able to assess the nasal-oropharyngeal airway is an important part of the treatment pathway for all patients with sleep disordered breathing/OSA and being able to provide early, minimally invasive intervention will help to improve patient treatment outcomes. A strong working relationship between ENT and sleep dentists is essential.”

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Jeremy Powers, Global Clinical Affairs Director, SomnoMed (left), pictured with David M. Rapoport, MD, SomnoMed Clinical Advisory Board member.

The Medical Initiative at Work: Partnerships and Programs

Through strategic partnerships, SomnoMed streamlines the diagnosis and treatment process for OSA, making it more accessible and efficient for patients and providers alike.

One such valuable collaboration is exemplified in SomnoMed’s partnership with Nexus Dental Systems, allowing for increased access to dental sleep medicine. Acting as a training and billing company, Nexus protocols increase office efficiency and result in more patients getting tested for OSA. National billing contracts allow Nexus dentists to bill In-Network with major insurance plans. Our partnership will raise public awareness of sleep apnea, train dentists to implement dental sleep medicine, create sleep apnea programs for the industry, and connect patients with providers by creating sustainable and resilient systems for both providers and patients.

Another of SomnoMed’s partnerships allows for an automated process in which patient symptoms are assessed, diagnosed, and matched with treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Board-certified sleep physicians guide patients through an automated program for less time and money than a traditional office visit and sleep study. Speaking to the impact of SomnoMed’s Medical Initiative, Jean-Maria Langley, DO, FAOCO-HNS, remarks: “As an ENT surgeon, we hope to reduce if not eliminate obstruction leading to hypopnea and apnea. With SomnoMed’s help, we’ve built a strong collaboration with our sleep dentistry team to integrate oral appliance therapy to treat our patients’ upper airway obstruction, increase compliance to treatment, and reduce comorbidities associated with obstructive sleep apnea.”

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Jonathan Arad, MD, and Evan Temkin, DMD, are seated together and hold the SomnoDent® Herbst Advance Elite™ and SomnoDent® Avant™, respectively.

A Unified Path Forward: Transforming OSA Treatment as We Know It

SomnoMed’s Medical Initiative is not just about advancing oral appliance therapy as a treatment option; it’s also about fostering a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to healthcare with the objective of changing patient lives. Dental sleep provider Carrie Sessom, DDS, D-ASBA, highlights: “The impact of SomnoMed’s Medical Initiative has been multifold. It has brought to light the importance of medical/dental collaboration and the value of personal relationships between physicians and dental sleep providers, putting oral appliance therapy front and center as an effective, preferred patient therapy for more and more medical prescribers. It’s certainly helping to ease the CPAP supply pinch.”

With the right referral pathways, it can be just as easy and seamless to refer patients for OAT as it is to send an order for CPAP to a durable medical equipment company (DME).

“We’re optimizing OAT treatment accessibility for the millions of patients suffering from mild to moderate OSA,” says Matt Conlon, Executive Vice President, SomnoMed North America. “And in light of certain PAP supply challenges for years to come, we’re committed to helping more physicians consider oral appliance therapy as a patient preferred, effective treatment solution for their patients.”

Here at SomnoMed, we’re paving the way for a future where the treatment of sleep apnea is more integrated, accessible, and effective for all involved. Join us. Connect with our team at

SomnoMed held a Sleep Summit last year where leading experts explored new frontiers in sleep medicine. Read more about it here:

  1. Olivier M. Vanderveken, Margot Van Daele, Johan Verraecken, Marc J. Braem, Marijke Dieltjens, Comparative analysis of two custom-made mandibular advancement devices with varied designs for treating moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea; Sleep Medicine,

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