This year, the Georgia Board of Dentistry passed a new law allowing dentists to order home sleep tests. This change enables dentists to evaluate patients for sleep apnea more accurately. Learn how an at home sleep study can assist your dentist in diagnosing different issues like Sleep Apnea.
Home sleep tests have become an increasingly popular option for diagnosing sleep apnea. The change means patients can get results without going to a sleep clinic. Home tests are often more convenient and affordable without sacrificing accuracy when compared to lab-based polysomnography tests.
Atlanta Smiles treats sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy recommended by a sleep physician to help patients improve their well-being and quality of life. We typically recommend a patient try CPAP therapy first if they have severe apnea, but follow the orders of the sleep physician following the case.
What Is A Home Sleep Study?
A home sleep study uses a home sleep test to record data about a patient’s sleep patterns and physiological responses. Also known as a home polysomnogram, this diagnostic tool allows patients to conduct the study at home. The test evaluates the patient’s heart rate, oxygen levels, and breathing patterns while asleep.
The dentist can use the results of a home sleep test to diagnose or rule out certain medical conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea.
The patient performs the home sleep test in the comfort of their home. The patient securely attaches sensors and a monitor to themselves before going to bed as instructed. The data collected from the home sleep test is then sent electronically to a lab for analysis.
What Does the Home Sleep Study Process Involve?
When getting ready for a home sleep test, the patient should carefully read and follow the instructions provided by their dentist or medical provider. The dentist will provide detailed instructions regarding any medications, supplements, or other changes the patient should make before starting the home sleep test. We encourage our patients to ask questions when they receive their test equipment. We want our patients to understand what is expected of them during the testing period.
When the patient is ready to start the home sleep test, they should attach sensors and a monitor to their body as instructed. The patient should then go to bed at their regular time and follow instructions from the monitor.
Once the test is complete, the patient can dispose of the test equipment.
What Are the Benefits of the Home Sleep Test
Atlanta Smiles uses the WatchPAT One, the first and only disposable home sleep apnea test. With this product, our dentists can send a test home with patients the same day they visit our office.
The disposable test makes the process easy. The patient does not need clean, return, download, or recharge the test equipment. Also, the disposable nature of the product prevents the risk of infection that exists with reusable tests.
The results and data are available immediately. Data interpretation is available anytime and anywhere using a cloud-based solution. Once the dentist receives the results, they can work with the patient and a sleep physician to determine if an oral device is the best solution to treat sleep apnea symptoms.
The home sleep test doesn’t require patients to sleep in a clinic overnight, which can reduce stress and makes testing more convenient. Also, the test records the data where the patient regularly sleeps to produce results that reflect true sleep patterns.
Easy to Use
The home sleep test is easy to use and requires no special training. Patients can easily attach the sensors and monitor as instructed before bed. Once the test is complete, the patient can simply dispose of the equipment. The WatchPAT One home sleep test is simple and straightforward to use.
Why Do Patients Need a Sleep Study?
Even when patients have symptoms that indicate sleep apnea, it’s still valuable to determine the cause to develop an effective treatment plan.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that can lead to significant health problems if not treated. Millions of Americans suffer from untreated sleep apnea.
Common sleep apnea symptoms include snoring, excessive daytime tiredness, morning headaches, and difficulty concentrating during the day.
At Atlanta Smiles, we believe data helps us find the optimal solution. When we have the data from the sleep test, we can use that to evaluate your case. Oral devices offer an effective treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea. They also work well for patients who use a CPAP machine daily but want a lightweight option for travel. However, surgery or other intervention may be needed to correct the problem for some severe sleep apnea cases.
Are Home Sleep Tests Accurate?
Yes. WatchPat One uses True Sleep Time to prevent up to 20% of misdiagnoses. In addition, the data includes detailed measurements to aid in accurate diagnosis, including detecting REM-related sleep apnea.
The Atlanta Smiles dental team is confident of the accuracy of home sleep tests. The home sleep test is most accurate when the patient follows the instructions provided by the dentist and product labels.
How to Prepare for a Home Sleep Study
Before undergoing a home sleep test, the patient should take steps to ensure they get the most accurate results. There are several ways to prepare for a home sleep test, such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol consumption before bedtime, reducing noise levels in the bedroom, and creating a comfortable sleeping environment.
Additionally, patients should make sure they have everything they need for the test before going to bed. Then, they should try to relax and enjoy their night of sleep.
Sleep Apnea Treatment at Atlanta Smiles
At Atlanta Smiles, we provide personalized care and treatments for sleep apnea. The home sleep test is a comprehensive and convenient way to diagnose sleep apnea. Atlanta Smiles is proud to offer this service to our patients so that we can more accurately treat sleep apnea.
Contact us to learn more or schedule a sleep apnea consultation.