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Diagnosis of sleep-related disorders has traditionally been done during an overnight stay in a sleep clinic or laboratory. The patient sleeps with sensors on the head, chest, abdomen, and legs in order to monitor oxygen levels, bodily movements, pulse, stages of sleep, respiratory effort, and snoring sounds. Although this method of sleep testing can be costly and uncomfortable for the patient, it is considered the “gold standard”. The information collected from the sensors is read and interpreted by board certified sleep physicians.
Alternatively, home sleep testing has emerged with recent technological advances. Our office uses the Watermark Medical ARES home sleep testing device. Instead of sensors and wires placed to monitor the patient, a simple wireless “box” rests on the forehead with attached nasal canula. Although home sleep testing does not completely replace overnight sleep studies, it does collect similar data and gives plentiful information to the sleep physician and dentist. Diagnosis of ANY sleep related breathing disorder, including Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and snoring, must be made by the physician and not the dentist. Home sleep testing can be done with the dentist to give baseline readings and aid in adjustments of oral appliance therapy or snore guards.