Spear Education is proud to announce that Dr. Jeff Rouse, a prosthodontist and expert in interdisciplinary treatment and airway management, has joined its roster of faculty members.
“I have been practicing dentistry with Jeff for the last year, and I am very excited that he can join our resident faculty,” said Dr. Gregg Kinzer. “His work in airway is groundbreaking, making him an excellent fit with our current faculty.”
Rouse has spent the last eight years developing material on airway and its relationship to dental problems. It was a passion project, based on both clinical and personal interest. The latter stemmed from the issues his own son, Jake, suffered because of his own airway issues.
“I was behind the curve on knowing what was going on with him,” Rouse said. “He had attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia, some systemic issues … he has all these things and if I knew then what I know now, he wouldn’t be having the same issues that he’s having now.
“So, why am I joining Spear?” he asked. “I am joining Spear because somebody needs to help those kids. I always ask in my lectures, ‘Who is your Jake?’ That’s what I want people thinking about every day when they walk into their office.”
While his campus lectures and Spear Online courses are still in the planning stages, Rouse did share that he hopes to raise awareness with airway evaluation and management strategies he refers to as “sleep prosthodontics.” This unique process involves three core principles: prevent, control, and resolve airway issues.
One of the biggest fears dentists have when talking about airway is that they think it only has to do with sleep, Rouse explained. He has found that dentists don’t want to jump into the world of sleep dentistry – medical billing, working with physicians, making appliances, etc.
“Every single dentist has made a nightguard,” he said. “What they forget is that when the patient wears it, they wear it when they’re asleep. And when half their patients say they love it and can’t sleep without it, it’s another way of saying they can breathe better with the appliance. It’s a sleep appliance; they have been making sleep appliances their entire career and didn’t recognize it.”
The protocol he teaches aims to help dentists realize that airway issues can be addressed in a variety of ways rather than just making a repositioning appliance. His six-step protocol walks dentists through an evaluation and management strategy that ranges from simple options to manage airway issues to progressively more complex ways – e.g. sleep appliances. Anywhere during the six-step protocol a patient can be controlled, which then helps the dentist figure out different treatment option for more long term resolution, e.g. orthodontics, orthognathic surgery, etc.
“And I remind them in that last step, they don’t have to make a sleep appliance – it’s just a dental appliance,” Rouse said.
While he said he’s honored by the opportunity to be a part of the Spear faculty, Rouse’s main goal is the same as it was when he started researching airway eight years ago.
“I want to get this information out there so we can all treat the Jakes,” he said. “I have always held Spear Education in high esteem and knew that the material would be delivered correctly. But to have the opportunity to deliver it myself … that’s an incredible experience.”
Read Dr. Jeff Rouse's full biography here.