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The Thornton Adjustable Positioner® (TAP®) is a simple, patient-friendly treatment solution for snoring and sleep apnea. The TAP holds the lower jaw in a forward position so that it does not fall open during the night and cause the airway to collapse. It maintains a clear airway to reduce snoring and improve breathing.

The unique design allows the patient to fine-tune his/her treatment at home and work with the clinician to achieve the best results. Patients are empowered to manage the degree of lower jaw protrusion over as many nights as it takes to achieve the optimal treatment position. The TAP has a single point of central adjustment, which prevents uneven bilateral adjustment that can create an irregular bite and discomfort.

The TAP has over a 95% success rate. It is the key to a snore-free, restful night of sleep. The TAP also treats sleep apnea without the need for surgery, a mask, or medication. The TAP is recognized as the market leader in oral appliances for snoring and sleep apnea and is currently prescribed by over 7,000 dentists worldwide to treat snoring and sleep apnea. In addition, it is the most researched oral appliances on the market with over 30 independent peer reviewed published studies. A simple dental examination is necessary to know if the patient will be able to use an oral appliance.

Why Patients like the TAP

  • Comfortable, custom fit
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to use
  • Adjustable while in the mouth
  • Patient can adjust at home and achieve maximum treatment results night to night
  • Smaller and less bulky than other oral appliances
  • Convenient for travel
  • No masks or straps involved


Understanding Sleep Disorder

 Download Sleep Apnea Appliance Form

TAP - Thornton Adjustable Positioner

Improving Life & Health

Snoring can seriously affect quality of life - both for the person who snores and for their sleep mate. Snoring often leads to sleeping in separate bedrooms and can cause problems in relationships. Studies have shown that the bed partners of people who snore don't get the sleep they need.

Snoring & Obstrutive Sleep Apnea

Breathing through a narrow airway or windpipe produces vibrations that cause the loud sound of snoring. Snoring happens at night when the muscles relax and have difficulty keeping the airway open. A shift in jaw position changes the shape of the airway. The soft tissue in the throat can collapse and the tongue can fall back into the throat. The result is a small opening to breathe through, a narrow airway.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway completely collapses and blocks airflow into the lungs. The more difficult to breathe, the tighter the airway seals. The breathing stops because the airway is closed. Without enough oxygen, the brain has to wake up the patient enough to start breathing again. The patient may or may not be aware that they have stopped breathing. A sleep mate will often hear the patient gasp or choke when they are able to breathe again. People with mild sleep apnea may stop breathing only a few times an hour. People with severe sleep apnea can stop breathing as many as 80 times an hour.

Understanding Sleep-disordered Breathing

What we need:

Upper & Lower Models

Impressions for work models should be poured up immediately in hard stone. It is essential that every tooth be included in the impressions, including third molars, if present. The TAP requires full occlusal coverage to distribute the occlusal forces over the entire dentition, and to prevent super eruption of any teeth.

Bite Registration

The construction bite registration should hold the mandible in the most protruded unstrained position. Although you can take this bite with the traditional freehand method, Airway Management & Accutech recommend using the George Gauge for best results. The George Gauge offers a simpler, more accurate method. You can be assured of a correct registration by presetting the gauge for the desired bite. You then have the patient simply bite simultaneously into the incisor notches and registration material. The George Gauge is an adjustable instrument that can be preset to guide the mandible to any desired position along the range of the protrusive path. It also serves as a vehicle for the registration material.
The gauge consists of three parts: the lower incisor clamp, the bite fork, and the body. The lower incisor clamp slides in and out of the body, forming the lingual wall of the lower incisor notch. It can also be adjusted to fit over rotated incisors. The bite fork, which also slides in and out, contains the perforated prongs that hold the registration material, the upper incisor notch, and the shaft whose anterior end indicates mandibular position on the millimeter scale of the body. Bite forks are available in two incisor notch sizes, one producing a 2mm inter incisal distance (Not recommended for the TAP) and the other being 5mm which is the best for a TAP. PLEASE NOTE: Even if you do not use the George Gauge, the TAP requires at least a 5mm anterior opening to allow adequate room for the hardware and plastic.


About the George Gauge & where to get it:

The George Gauge allows the clinician to capture the protrusive bite registration and vertical opening without relying on the patient to achieve proper positioning. This eliminates guesswork, is extremely accurate and easy to use.

You can purchase the George Gauge Bite Registration Kit from Accutech & the kit includes: Call the lab for pricing.
* 1 Gauge
* 24 Bite Forks (12) 2mm & (12) 5mm
* 1 Bite Technique Video (15 minutes) DVD

The George Gauge can also be used to take bites for splints to greatly reduce, minimize and/or eliminate premature molar contact!