Dr. Stephen Harkins graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a B.S. degree in Molecular Biology/Genetics. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Dr. Harkins continued his interest in jaw orthopedics, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), orofacial pain (OFP), oral medicine, regenerative tissue therapy, sleep disorders, and behavioral/psychology/stress management by completing several postgraduate educational training programs at the University of Minnesota, Harvard, UCLA, and the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Harkins has been certified in clinical hypnosis and biofeedback therapy. Dr. Harkins moved to Tucson in 1981 and established one of the first private practice clinics in the world., limited to the diagnosis and treatment of TMD/Orofacial Pain, Headache and Sleep Disorders.
Dr. Harkins has been a member of the research faculty at the University of Arizona College of Medicine since 1984 and has served as a consultant to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Tucson since 1986. He has published several scientific research articles in dental and medical journals, authored two chapters in medical textbooks and edited/produced patient education brochures on TMD and OFP, which are used in dental, medical schools and treatment clinics around the world. Dr. Harkins has presented his research studies and lectured for continuing education programs throughout the U.S. and around the world. He has treated over 30,000 TMD/OFP/Sleep patients in his career and is still active, on a part-time basis, inpatient care, education, writing and clinical research. He has been a volunteer clinician for TMD/OFP patients at the St. Elizabeth of Hungary charity clinic for several years.
Dr. Harkins has developed and patented the Twilite Appliance ®, a novel, intraoral appliance to hold the oropharyngeal airway open during sleep, in patients that snore and suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea(OSA). After several years of development and application in several thousand OSA and snoring patients, the FDA cleared the Twilite Appliance ® for use by the general public. Dr. Harkins was certified by the American Board of Orofacial Pain in 1995 and maintains Diplomat status. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Arizona State Dental Society, Southern Arizona Dental Society, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Dr. Halter initially received his PhD in Immunology, then his medical degree, neurology residency and anesthesia pain fellowship from the University of Arizona. After completing his extensive clinical training, Dr. Halter practiced pain management for 12 years, prior to joining Dr. Harkins’ group in 2013. Dr. Halter is the medical director of the Harkins Pain & Sleep Management Group, where he evaluates and treats Complex Pain Disorders in all areas of the body. He also evaluates and manages Sleep Disorders, including Sleep Breathing Disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Snoring. Since joining the Harkins Group, Dr. Halter has treated several thousand Chronic Pain, OSA and Sleep Disorder patients.
Dr. Halter is actively involved in the research and development of innovative and highly effective protocols to manage Complex Pain and Sleep Disorders, including Chronic Headaches/Migraines, Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD), Orofacial Pain, Neuralgias, Dystonias/Dykinesias, Spinal/Musculoskeletal Pain, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Snoring and Insomnias.
Dr. Halter and his colleagues at Harkins Pain & Sleep Management have been developed very effective alternative treatment options to use of Opioids for Chronic Pain management and alternatives to CPAP/BiPAP in the management of Sleep Breathing Disorders. In addition to managing and research in Chronic Pain and Sleep Disorders, Dr. Halter is also a lecturer/educator and neurology consultant.
Dr. Joseph Matthews joined the Harkins Pain & Sleep Management Group in November 2018. He previously practiced general dentistry for thirty years with a focus on treating TMD/Orofacial Pain and has limited his practice to treating TMD/Orofacial Pain, Headache and Sleep for the past five years. His educational background includes a bachelor of science in life sciences, master’s degree in nutrition at Kansas State University, doctorate of dental surgery from the University of Missouri, a post-doctoral master’s in evidence-based health care from Oxford University, and post-doctoral certificate in Orofacial Pain from UCLA.
He has numerous professional publications and has given presentations on Pain and Sleep management, and critical appraisal of research literature in the US and internationally.Dr. Matthews is a Diplomate of the Board of Orofacial Pain, a Fellow of the American Association of Orofacial Pain, a member of the American Headache Society, and served on the board directors for The Academy of Integrative Pain Management. He has also been a consultant to the Council of Scientific Affairs of the American Dental Association.
Dr. Claudia Gray joined Dr. Harkins’ team in Tucson, AZ in 2004, where she has been the clinical director for Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)/Orofacial Pain (OFP) and Obstructive Sleep Apnea(OSA)/Sleep Disorders. Dr, Gray has worked with Dr. Harkins in the clinical research, development, patent process and FDA clearance of the Twilite Appliance®, used to manage Sleep Breathing Disorders such as OSA/Snoring and TMD.
Dr. Gray has directly fabricated and supervised the clinical application of several thousand Twilite Appliances® since 2005. Dr. Gray has directed the successful treatment outcomes of more than 7,000 OSA patients, utilizing the Twilite Appliance®, in conjunction with counseling, pre, and post-treatment sleep testing, nasal and oropharyngeal soft tissue airway management, GERD management, utilization of adjunctive medications and behavioral therapy. Dr. Gray has personally directed highly successful treatment outcomes in several thousand Sleep Disorder and TMD/Orofacial Pain patients, resulting in significant improvement in the patient’s general “quality of life”.
In addition to her extensive clinical experience in Sleep Disorder and TMD/Pain Management, Dr. Gray has completed the UCLA Sleep Management for Dentists program in 2011. She has presented numerous lectures and has been involved in several clinical research projects related to Sleep Disordered Breathing with Dr. Harkins. Dr. Gray’s experience and knowledge in managing TMD, Sleep Breathing Disorders and Insomnias, especially in chronic pain patients, is not only extensive but very unique. It is quite unusual to find a doctor, nurse, or technician, even in the world’s most renowned sleep centers and pain management clinics, that has the in-depth, extensive quality, quantity, and diversity of Dr. Gray’s clinical experience.
Dr. Swanny Estrada-Harkins, wife of Dr. Stephen Harkins, received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, (Bogata, Colombia), then completed a three-year fellowship/master degree program in TMD/Orofacial Pain at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (Boston, MA).
Dr. Estrada-Harkins is board certified by the American Board of Orofacial Pain. Prior to joining Dr. Harkins’ team in 2000, Dr. Estrada-Harkins was a clinical professor at Nova Southeastern Medical and Dental College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In addition to being the administrative managing partner of the Harkins Pain & Sleep Management Group, Dr. Estrada-Harkins has been involved in the clinical management and research of patients that suffer from TMD/Orofacial Pain and Headaches.