SNORING: SCREENING & DIAGNOSIS
Step 1: Screening
Prior to your first appointment, we will provide you with a Sleep Questionnaire to complete and bring with you to our office. In addition to providing you with an opportunity to describe your symptoms, this questionnaire will enable you to provide us with a detailed dental/medical and sleep history, which is essential to the sleep screening and assessment process.
If you have completed a sleep study, please ask your physician to fax a copy of it to our office [fax: (304) 757-3535] in advance or bring a copy of it with you when you come in for your appointment.
Please plan to be with us for 30 minutes to 1 hour, which is the time required to complete a thorough examination. We believe that patients should be well-informed and will, therefore, provide you with a great deal of information. We will also ensure that there is ample time for you to ask questions and voice any concerns.
One of the main goals of this appointment is to determine if you have “primary snoring” or if your snoring is actually a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). During your screening examination, Dr. Bailey will:
- Review your dental/medical and sleep history in detail.
- Ask questions about when and how you snore.
- Complete a clinical examination during which she will examine your tonsils, adenoids and tissue at the back of your throat.
Depending on the severity of your snoring and other symptoms, Dr. Bailey may also:
- Request images of your airway.
- Measure airflow and your airway volume using a rhinometer/pharyngometer. (This device is also be used to gauge whether or not you will benefit from oral appliance therapy.)
- Arrange for you to take a portable sleep recorder home with you to use for one night. This sophisticated piece of equipment, which is conveniently used in the privacy of your own home, will record basic information about your sleep and breathing including your blood oxygen saturation level, snoring, movements during sleep and sleep apnea events (i.e., instances in which you stop breathing while asleep). When combined with your history and clinical examination findings, the home study is useful in determining if you are suffering from simple snoring (also called “primary snoring”). Since snoring can also be a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the results of your home study can also be used to assess whether further evaluation for OSA or other sleep problems is warranted.
Once your screening examination has been completed, and we have gathered all of the necessary clinical data, Dr. Bailey will discuss her preliminary findings with you. If it is determined that you are at risk for sleep-disordered breathing, Dr. Bailey will consult with a board-certified sleep physician who will be able to make a differential diagnosis.
Step 2: Diagnosis
All sleep-disordered breathing problems, including primary snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea, must be diagnosed by a physician prior to treatment in our office. In addition to being a healthcare and medical requirement, a physician’s diagnosis is necessary for you to qualify for covered benefits under your insurance plan.
If the results of your screening exam warrant it, and you have not already done so, Dr. Bailey will arrange for you to complete a polysomnogram (i.e., sleep study), which will be read, scored and interpreted by a board-certified sleep physician. Using data from your sleep study, the physician will be able to make a definitive diagnosis. This diagnosis will inform Dr. Bailey as to whether you have primary snoring or Obstructive Sleep Apnea, both of which can managed effectively with the treatments we provide in our office.
Our goal is to help you enjoy the benefits of qualify, recuperative sleep. Following your diagnosis, Dr. Bailey will be able to ascertain whether you are a candidate for treatment in our office.
If you are not a candidate for treatment using oral appliance therapy, we will provide a referral to a board-certified sleep physician or other specialist who can help you.
Payment & Insurance
We strive to make treatment easy and affordable. We accept:
- Credit Card: VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover
A significant reduction in our usual fee is available when payment is received before services are provided. We also offer CareCredit™ for the convenience of patients who prefer to finance their treatment.
Snoring is a medical problem that is managed effectively by a dentist. As such, you may qualify for benefits associated with the treatment of snoring in our office under your medical insurance plan (not your dental insurance). While policies vary greatly, many insurers do include treatment for snoring as a covered benefit.
For glossary of terms that may be helpful when communicating with your health insurance provider, click here. We also invite you to contact us with insurance or other questions.