Jeff Rouse, DDS, a prosthodontist and expert in interdisciplinary treatment and airway management, has joined Spear Education’s 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,” says Dr. Gregg Kinzer, DDS, MSD, in a release. “His work in airway is groundbreaking, making him an excellent fit with our current faculty.”

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 says. He has found that dentists don’t want to jump into the world of dental sleep medicine—medical billing, working with physicians, making appliances, etc.  Jeff Rouse, DDS

“Every single dentist has made a nightguard,” he says. “What they forget is that when the patient wears it, they wear it when they’re asleep. 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—eg, 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, eg orthodontics, orthognathic surgery, etc.

Rouse says his main goal is the same as it was when he started researching airway eight years ago. “I just want to get this information out there,” he said. “To have the opportunity to deliver it myself… that’s an incredible experience.”