Do you suspect you have sleep apnea? A sleep test, either performed in a laboratory or at home, can certainly be an invaluable diagnostic tool. The data it reveals can not only let you know if you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but also how severe the condition is. However, a sleep test does not always provide a complete picture of OSA. It cannot map out your airway and thus pinpoint why the apneas (periods of not breathing) are occurring. That is where pharyngometry and rhinometry come into play, offering advanced sleep apnea diagnosis in Sunnyvale, TX.
When we use pharyngometry, we place a small device in a patient’s mouth. The device emits soundwaves, and our computer system uses them to create a visualization of the patient’s airway. First, we perform the test while the patient is breathing normally. Then, we repeat it while the patient voluntarily restricts their airway. Comparing the results of the two tests helps us determine exactly why the individual is suffering from apneas.
Rhinometry works on the same principle as pharyngometry. However, instead of measuring how a patient breathes through their mouth, it maps how they breathe through their nose. It can thus reveal issues like a deviated septum or other sources of restricted airflow.
Pharyngometry and rhinometry are advanced diagnostic tools that come with some significant benefits. The primary advantage is that they provide insight into why a person is suffering from sleep apnea, so they make it possible for Dr. Langston to design a truly customized treatment plan. He can determine if an oral appliance would be the best sleep apnea therapy, or if a patient needs other forms of treatment to breathe easily throughout the night.
If an oral appliance is indeed the best treatment, the results from pharyngometry and rhinometry help Dr. Langston design the appliance. Other dentists, who do not use such advanced diagnostic technology, are at a disadvantage. They may have to do some educated guesswork as they are designing an oral appliance, which means that it may not be as effective as it should be. Pharyngometry and rhinometry help Dr. Langston identify exactly how the device should reposition the jaw to allow for truly unrestricted airflow.
Would you like to learn more about the advanced diagnostic tools that lead to improved sleep apnea therapy? Contact Long Creek Dental today.