Airway Focused Dentistry

A Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Curriculum


Airway Mini Residency Year 3 West

Session I: Jun 3-4, 2016
Session II: Aug 5-6, 2016
Session III: Oct 21-22, 2016
Session IV: Jan 27-28, 2017

Airway Mini Residency Year 3 East

Session I: Jun 10-11, 2016
Session II: Aug 19-20, 2016
Session III: Nov 11-12, 2016
Session IV: Mar 10-11, 2017

Airway Mini Residency Year 4 West

Session I: April 21-22, 2017
Session II: July 14-15, 2017
Session III: Sept 15-16, 2017
Session IV: Dec 8-9, 2017

Airway Mini Residency Year 4 East

Session I: June 2-3, 2017
Session II: July 28-29, 2017
Session III: Oct 27-28, 2017
Session IV: Jan 12-13, 2018

Session I: The Cause of Airway-Related Dysfunctions
Session II: The Assessment
Session III: The Treatment
Session IV: The Practice



This course is not about sleep. It is about the airway. The most important and immediate physiologic function at birth is the maintenance of breathing. This reality does not change for the lifetime of the individual. This is important for the dentist because breathing trumps all other non-autonomic physiologic functions and influences craniofacial growth & development as well as many common dental afflictions.


The development of the airway is the “keystone” for facial development (Enlow) and is a major factor in determining dental function. Facial growth & development is not solely driven by genetics as was previously believed and in fact is strongly influenced by epigenetic (“above the genes”) factors (environment).


Michael J.
Herrera DDS
President AARD

“I would like to make a brief professional recommendation for a course that has the potential to change your patient’s health, as well as your families and your own personal wellness.

The Airway Mini Residency gives attendees a more thorough understanding of what you see every day during your clinical treatment for your patients . You will realize that there is a reason why patients are wearing down their dentitions , destroying your carefully placed restorations and complaining of TMD and muscle pain. You’ll also learn why they have acid erosion, unexplained anxiety and a pronounced gag reflex.

Are you ready to learn a completely new way of seeing what clinical symptoms can tell you regarding your patients health ? Then you need to take this mini-residency. Don’t be left behind when the dental profession steps up to be a leader in managing airway disorders.”



  • Learn how to enhance your bottom line through medical collaboration & proper billing.  In other words, learn how to do well by doing right by your patients!
  • How to put the passion & excitement back into your clinical care using airway focused dental principles as you boost your productivity and restorative outcomes.
  • How to improve your restorative/TMD dental outcomes!
  • How the use of a device (CPAP/oral appliance) is only a temporary fix in most cases!
  • Why OSA is only the tip of the iceberg in the sleep disordered breathing spectrum & why UARS/flow limitation is where most of the problems are hidden (below the surface)
  • Specific & practical alternatives to CPAP and oral appliance therapy that are directed by the dental team
  • How to use & interpret HRPO (high resolution pulse oximetry) in screening for sleep disordered breathing
  • How to put together your own collaborative, multidisciplinary team…with you as the quarterback.


Increasingly the public is demanding  an alternative to symptom & disease management.  OUR GOAL is to give you an approach to your patient’s dental health that is grounded in global wellness. We will take you beyond teeth, gums, muscles and joints to overall patient well-being. This approach does not ask you to abandon traditional dental interventions. It will help you enhance your clinical outcomes by broadening your perspectives on the many problems you manage on a daily basis.  The collaborative approach you will learn will increase your professional satisfaction well beyond the bottom line enhancement that you will experience.



Tasha Turzo


Roger Price
BS PharmD


Ronald Harper


Rick Roblee


Ellen Crean


William M. Hang

Steven Park

Bertrand Da Silva

Paula Fabbie


Tom Colquitt DDS Past President AARD

“I’ve practiced dentistry since 1970. Years of continuing education including intensive gnathological training in the
anatomy and function of the stomatognathic system resulted in a high level of comfort in our daily practice. Learning the use of mandibular advancement/stabilization devices from an old friend/schoolmate/colleague Keith Thornton, who developed the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP) while screening and monitoring progress with oximetry led, 7 years ago, to an adjunct professorship position on the faculty in the Sleep Fellowship training department at LSU medical school, where I’ve attended weekly Grand Rounds sleep medicine lectures and lecture twice a year to the sleep faculty, staff, and residents. So airway issues have been a part of our practice since the 1990s.

4 years ago I was eating my lunch at the Congress of the American Section of the International Academy of Gnathology in San Antonio.

It was the last year of my four-year term as President of the Academy, and I was basking in the idea that my work in “extracurricular dentistry” was done and that I could just relax and enjoy what was left of my career based on what I thought I already knew.

Then Mark Cruz sat down next to me with his plate and said something like, “I hear you’re involved in Dental Sleep Medicine.” Nothing in my life has been the same since that “chance encounter”, although I now know there’s no such thing as a coincidence. I also now know that the term “Sleep Medicine” is a short-sighted term that should be banished from future conversations if we, as a profession are going to finally accede to our true role as physicians of the stomatognathic system.

Studying with Mark and Barry Raphael and their great roster of speakers in the Airway Mini-Residency has changed not only my daily
thinking process but has transformed our daily practice. Thanks to what we’ve put into practice from what I’ve learned in the AMR, in casual social encounters with folks I don’t even know well, I keep hearing “I hear you’re saving lives.”

If you’re totally satisfied by your current knowledge base and have an inherent fear of the “curse of knowledge”, then avoid enrolling in the Airway Mini-residency (AMR) as you would avoid being exposed to the Ebola virus!

But if you’re ready to fulfill your true calling in the future of our profession in which we shall shortly supersede our medical brethren as the key players in the total health of our patients, I strongly suggest you enroll in the AMR as soon as possible. Your life will
never be the same, and your patients will be the beneficiaries of hatever sacrifices you must make to learn what their real problems are and how to help them return to wellness.”

Alfred Marquez DDS

After many years in dentistry, some of us can reflect back to courses we may have taken in our careers that change
our paradigm and create that “Aha” moment in our dental practices. This is such a course!

For the novice in Airway, you will come away with clear what, why and how’s of Airway Dentistry. For the seasoned
Airway Dentist, you will be able to connect the dots, cross the t’s, and dot the i’s of an airway practice; you will come
away with an implementable, practical understanding of Airway. From the why did the airway develop as it did, to the
how do I treat, and finally how do I get paid for what I do; you will get it all!! This is a course for every dentist, no matter at what stage of the Airway game you are at!”

Ken Ochi DDS

“I just wanted to write to express my appreciation for creating the Airway Mini Residency (AMR) that I attended this past year. What an educational experience you have put before us! It is a paradigm shift in the way dentists should look at their patients. In the course, you showed us all the signs and symptoms that have been staring at me(and all entists) over my 30 plus years of practice. And I had ignorantly missed the need to look at those symptoms and take action for my patients’greater good. Fortunately I am looking at those signs and symptoms now and improving the quality of my patients’ lives.Thank you for your encompassing, methodical, pithy program. It was clear from the first day that your passion for the airway is contagious!

You brought your passion and combined it with knowledge making this such a dynamic program. Hats off to you and the other speakers. The cogs all meshed nicely creating the best program I have attended in many, many years.

I look forward to continuing to interact with this group of clinicians that attended with me.Thank you.”

Barbara Mallonee DDS

“I want to extend my gratitude to Mark and Barry for putting on a very enlightening, informative and frankly career changing Airway Mini Residency. Through the residency I have gained valuable information on the recognition and treatment of this epidemic we call breathing disorders, far beyond OSA. Our profession has been shamefully lacking in this type of training which should be mandatory in all dental schools. You have opened my eyes to better truly understanding the conditions we
see every day but have either ignored, or mistaken common for normal. I believe it is our duty as dentists to learn this

important role we play in identifying and treating airway disease. Your course has been invaluable in this journey. I will never look at another mouth the same again!”

Laurel Morello DDS

“Airway Mini Residency presented a unique and informative perspective to airway management and treatment starting initially and very mportantly with understanding the evolution of craniofacial growth and development and then identifying signs of aberrant craniofacial growth and evelopment on airway competency through genetic and epigenetic factors.
Dr.Mark Cruz’s very comprehensive wellness model to healing through a multidisciplinary medical, dental and therapeutic collaborative support system was highly supported with speakers from many disciplines, webinars and the ability to continue the communication with 24-7 open lines of interaction through blogging networks and email correspondence.

individual participant case presentations enhanced confidence levels when making diagnosis and treatment decisions. This residency is a must do for the serious airway integrated practice. It has my highest recommendation.”

Copyright © 2015 Airway Focused Dentistry. All rights reserved.