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CALGARY, Canada: Dentsply Sirona and Zephyr Sleep Technologies have announced their strategic partnership to help in the advancement of sleep apnea solutions. Sleep-related breathing disorders, which include obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), affect as many as 20 percent of the North American population, and oral appliances are often the preferred treatment option. However, they are only suitable for about 60 percent of OSA cases, and selecting which patients will respond to the treatment is difficult.
According to the companies, patients and dentists will now benefit from a more efficient and patient-friendly approach to treating OSA. The cooperation combines Zephyr’s MATRx Plus and Dentsply Sirona’s sleep dentistry portfolio of 3-D imaging and digital impression units, SICAT Air software and the SICAT OPTISLEEP appliance.
The MATRx system is a tablet-based and cloud-connected medical device that tests OSA to determine treatment response before patients undergo the expensive, time-consuming process. The system is designed for home use and is easy to use. According to Zephyr, it offers significant benefits to both the patient and the dentist by allowing a sleep physician to confidently prescribe treatment for OSA.
Dentsply Sirona’s SICAT Air provides the first 3-D solution for the analysis of the upper airways and provides a completely digital workflow for an appliance-based treatment. The SICAT Air software combines 3-D images, captured with Galileos Comfort Plus, Orthophos SL 3D or Orthophos XG 3D, and digital impressions, taken with CEREC Omnicam, to provide accurate visualization for treatment planning.
According to Dentsply Sirona, with this workflow, dental practitioners can quickly and easily order mandibular advancement appliances, such as OPTISLEEP, which reduce or alleviate the symptoms of mild to moderate OSA.
In addition to Dentsply Sirona’s investment in Zephyr, the company has appointed Dr. Stefan Hehn, Vice President of Imaging Systems, to Zephyr’s board of directors to spearhead the cooperation. “I’m excited to work closely with the Zephyr team to integrate existing Dentsply Sirona products and technology with the MATRx and MATRx Plus to make a better, safer and faster dental solution to treat OSA. This will not only make dentists more productive, but also significantly enhance the patient experience,” said Hehn.
Zephyr chairman of the board Greg Ogrodnick said, “We are pleased to have Dr. Hehn join our board of independent corporate directors. Dr. Hehn not only brings a wealth of experience, but he also has a track record of successfully bringing new technologies and applications to the dental market.”
For any emerging tech company, the challenge is often taking the product to market. Paul Cataford, Zephyr’s President and CEO, said: “Bringing on Dentsply Sirona as both an investor and strategic partner opens up a whole new world of opportunity.” Catford is confident that partnering with a company of Dentsply Sirona’s stature will increase Zephyr’s credibility with its customers and provide an established and extensive network to create, build and deliver the best treatments possible for sleep-related breathing disorders. “We are now one step closer to helping more people lead healthy and productive lives through better sleep,” he said.
Zephyr Sleep Technologies designs, develops and manufactures medical devices for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep-disordered breathing and is based in Calgary, Canada.