Are you thinking about offering sleep apnea treatment in your dental practice? Before you can get patients to accept your treatment recommendations, they need an official diagnosis of their condition. Of course, you could refer them to a local sleep clinic, but they may dislike the idea of spending a night outside the comfort of their own home. Fortunately, many people are candidates for an at-home sleep apnea test instead. Let’s discuss some basic facts about this diagnostic tool.
At-Home Tests Appeal to Patients on a Budget
In these challenging economic times, many patients are understandably concerned about the cost of medical care, particularly if their health insurance does not offer robust coverage. In-clinic sleep tests can be rather expensive. Fortunately, at-home tests tend to be much more affordable, which means they are within the budget of a wider range of patients.
At-Home Tests Are Easy to Use
You or a member of your team may need to have a brief discussion with patients before they borrow an at-home testing device. For example, you might have to explain how to properly wear the machine and give them tips on making themselves comfortable while they are using it. In general, though, at-home testing devices tend to be easy to use, even for many patients who are not particularly tech-savvy.
There Are Numerous Devices on the Market
If you wish to offer at-home sleep tests, you’ll have to do some research. There are a number of devices on the market, each of which comes with its own pros and cons. Beyond price, user-friendliness is a major factor that you should consider when you are choosing which test to feature in your practice.
At-Home Tests Have Their Limitations
Clinic-based sleep tests measure a wide range of metrics to determine the quality of a patient’s sleep. Not only do they monitor breathing, but they also keep track of bodily movements, heart rate, and more. As a result, they can enable clinicians to diagnose a range of sleep disorders, not just obstructive sleep apnea.
At-home tests are simpler. They are usually reserve for straightforward cases in which it seems that a patient has obstructive sleep apnea without the presence of other sleep disorders. They are generally quite reliable, but in some cases, they do yield a false negative result. If a patient’s at-home test results seem suspicious, you may have to encourage them to undergo a clinic-based sleep test.
At-home sleep apnea tests can be a convenient way for individuals to start taking control of the quality of their nightly rest. Incorporating them into your practice’s offerings could expand your ability to provide top-tier care to your patients.
Learn More about Sleep Dentistry
Dr. Kent Smith is a leading expert in the field of sleep dentistry. He regularly hosts training seminars and retreats to help his fellow dentists incorporate OSA treatment into their practices. If you are interested in learning how he may be able to help you expand your skillset and improve your business’s bottom line, contact 21st Century Sleep Seminars at 817-318-6352.