Sleep Centers, Sleep Tests, Home Sleep Tests and PSG
Many of our patients get nervous when we mention having a sleep apnea test or PSG performed in a sleep lab center or with one of our Home Sleep Tests. There is nothing to fear. Sleep centers that help us diagnose sleep apnea, snoring and other sleep disorders are very calm, comfortable and secure. While there are many sleep disorder clinics around we work with only a select small group of them that we feel have the facilities that are as much like home as possible. Most sleep centers will have a very comfortable bed, your own bathroom, and a TV to help you relax before you head to bed.
What Happens at a Sleep Test Clinic?
Once you arrive and are shown your room the sleep technician will explain the process. When you are ready for bed she will attached a few sensors to your head, chest and fingers. These sleep sensors allow us to measure the quality of your sleep and allow the sleep physicians to properly diagnose your sleep disorder as obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, both or another disturbance such as restless leg syndrome. As soon as the sleep technician has you connected to the monitoring system you are allowed to fall asleep. During your sleep they are constantly monitoring sleep cycles, body temperature, sleeping position, snoring levels, blood oxygen levels, etc. They also make note of noises, movements, twitches etc. while you are sleeping. Finally, some sleep labs will record you using an infrared camera so that if your sleep physicians has any questions about the result he can review the video.
A Brief Video About Sleep Apnea Test Clinics
This video was put out by one of the CPAP companies. While they attempt to sway you towards using a CPAP machine versus using an oral appliance, the video has informative summary of what to expect during your sleep center test.
Home Sleep Tests or Ambulatory Sleep Tests
Recently the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued its final coverage decision for ambulatory sleep testing*. The policy now states that home sleep tests can be used by a Medicare patient’s physician to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. This is wonderful news for patients! While it doesn’t mean all insurance carriers will follow the Medicare’s decision immediately, it does indicate that the industry is moving in that direction.
Once approved from your insurance company a home sleep test unit will allow you to perform your sleep test in the comfort of your own home and even more important, in your own bed! We can check your insurance plan to see if they will allow a home sleep test - just give us a call to verify.
Below is an introduction video about one of the leading home sleep test units called the Watch-PAT 200. I’ve used this myself and can tell you it is easy, comfortable and accurate. You can see another video on our home sleep test page where we show the system that we use at Millbrae Dental Care.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Sleep Apnea Tests?
Unfortunately no, however your medical health insurance plan will most likely cover the cost and we can assist you with the billing. If you don’t have medical health insurance or a dental plan there are many sleep clinics and centers that offer low-cost sleep tests.
Once you have completed a sleep test (PSG) and one of our sleep physicians has confirmed that you have sleep apnea we can discuss your treatment options.