An accurate and thorough history is essential to understanding the cause of pain or sleep disordered breathing. The patient, the interviewing clinical assistant, as well as the doctor must investigate the pain or reasons for not breathing well at night or daytime fatigue.
- Be aware of the intensity of pain.
- Be able to tell of the duration of the pain.
- Keep track of the frequency of pain.
- Pay attention to when the pain occurs.
- Identify all the risk factors to sleep disordered breathing
Imaging is critical to accurate diagnosis
- X-rays can reveal degenerative processes that occur in the absence of pain. Also the size of the airway or any obstructions in the airway are revealed.
- MRI can show soft tissue pathology that would otherwise be unknown to the practitioner.
- CT can offer detail and 3D perspective that is valuable to understanding the bony degeneration, or pathology that has occurred or size of airway.
- Bone scan can reveal sources of active tissue destruction caused by infection, inflammation or neoplasm
- Sleep breathing is a dynamic process that needs to be recorded throughout the night and interpreted by a Boarded Sleep Physician .
- A nocturnal polysomnograph (NPSG) is essential for diagnosis of any sleep breathing concerns and to identify any other sleep related medical issues that may be occurring at the same time.
- A sleep study (NPSG) is essential for the diagnosis since obstructive sleep apnea also falls into the scope of medicine.
- A Physician has to diagnose OSA, but a Dentist can treat OSA.
Medical examination is based on a blend of the latest in research and education, with years of experience. A head and neck physical exam based on both medical and dental examination procedures will reveal many of the contributing factors to your facial pain.
The treatment plan will be based on all the information from the history, imaging, and the examination. This is the critical point in the treatment of facial pain or sleep disordered breathing. Not only is the physical information critical, but also the knowledge, judgment and experience of the doctor is what makes the difference in the success of the treatment. The plan must be flexible, as the course of treatment will depend on the response to various phases of the treatment plan.
- Referrals to other medical specialties will be necessary as the patient responds to the treatment. Other contributing factors to the pain will become evident as treatment progresses. Referrals to Physical Therapy, Neurologist, ENT, and other Medical Doctors will be considered.
The key to the method is the foundation of our vision, mission and values. That is where the difference in results of the total treatment will lie and is essential to the patient’s ability to meet therapeutic goals, which will result in a longer life with less pain, more energy and ability to enjoy all that life has for our patients.