In his new Study Club module, Spear Resident Faculty member Dr. Jeff Rouse introduces airway and joint concepts into daily practice workflows – an issue that may seem daunting for many in the dental community.

In “The Blending of Airway and TMD,” Dr. Rouse outlines a simple tiered approach to evaluation and treatment using “Aware and Directed” case planning.

“The whole purpose of this video is to help dentists look at patients a little differently and to ask themselves, 'What am I missing?'” Dr. Rouse said. “We typically miss a bunch of what's going on in our patients because we are so focused on the restorative or the periodontal needs that we miss really important components to the long-term health of the patient – the airway and the joint – along with the facially generated treatment planning or esthetic aspects of a case.”

Many patients present with both airway and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues. In this module, Dr. Rouse explains how to integrate these critical components into Spear's interdisciplinary treatment planning protocols with Aware and Directed case planning.

"Recognizing airway-disordered breathing, as well as structural changes in the TMJ, can help patients experience far better overall health and promote more comprehensive care. But you may notice that many times the airway and joint patient are exactly the same patient,” Dr. Rouse added.

This module demonstrates comprehensive patient care that can be incorporated into any practice model without altering a practice's daily workflow or investment in technology. Also, dentists who use Airway Aware and use Airway Directed treatment planning can offer patients more predictable treatment options and treat both airway and joint issues for patients.

Module learning objectives are:

  • Explain the impact of airway and joint on Facially Generated Treatment Planning.
  • Develop a strategy based on Aware and Directed planning.
  • Identify how Airway and Joint Directed care can be implemented in the dental practice.
  • Determine how the inclusion of airway and joint alters case planning and presentation.