Australasian Dental Practice

Thursday, 7 December, 2023

31 May 2015 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 60

New digitally produced sleep appliances

CEREC Snoring and sleep apnoea

Many people who still feel tired when they get up in the morning suffer from sleep apnoea. This is caused by a constriction of the airways when they sleep. With new SICAT Air software, dentists can now analyze a patient's airways in 3D and plan the appropriate therapy digitally.

Whereas CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) - a device that requires a patient to wear an intrusive mask connected to a device that generates positive airflow to the mask while they sleep - is seen as the gold standard in treating sleep apnoea, patient compliance is alarmingly low.

In recent times, the efficacy of treating sleep apnoea with dental appliances that advance the mandible during sleep have been receiving favourable reviews in the scientific literature; and importantly, patient compliances is several fold higher.

Whereas CAD/CAM and digital dentistry workflows have to-date focussed on restorative dentistry, more recently, the ability to combine 3D volumetric tomography datasets with an intraoral scan have vastly expanded the diagnostic and treatment options available to dentists.

With SICAT Air, Sirona's subsidiary SICAT has made available software for users of CEREC and Sirona 3D imaging systems to participate in this burgeoning area of interest in dentistry.

SICAT Air gives dentists a completely new option for digitally imaging the entire workflow, from diagnostics through to production of an appliance. With SICAT Air 3D software, the dentist can precisely analyse the patient's airways in an x-ray volume image - and then make an individual treatment plan. This planning also takes the temporomandibular joints and bite movements into consideration so that no stress is exerted in these areas. On the basis of this data, a dentist can then order the appliances from SICAT's central production facility in Bonn, Germany. The great advantage for the patient is that the uncomfortable impression-taking process is no longer necessary and the appliance is available at their next appointment - which is not always the case for other methods.

Suitable treatment for many patients

The need for solutions such as this is evident from the number of those affected, which is greater than frequently assumed. The HSL sleep laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany estimates that two to four percent of adults are affected by this condition. In middle to old age, the frequency is between 15 and 19 percent in men and between 9 and 15 percent in women. Being overweight is also a risk factor. The problem is that people who suffer from breathing interruptions at night wake up stressed the next morning. This not only increases the risk of an accident, but also the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and many other disorders. The mandibular protrusion appliance can provide considerable relief in many cases.


SICAT is an innovative company founded in 2004 as a joint venture between HICAT GmbH, a spin-off of the caesar research center, and Sirona Dental Systems GmbH. Working in three-dimensional imaging with a selection of products and solutions for dental implantology, functional diagnostics and treatment, as well as oral & maxillofacial surgery, SICAT focuses on the development of user-friendly and cost-effective software and hardware.

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