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Caring & Skilled Dentistry Helping Those Suffering from Sleep Apnea

Pulse Oximeter Test

Initial Screening for Sleep Apnea in St. Louis

In addition to the Mallampati exam, another method to predict sleep apnea in patients is with the use of a pulse oximeter. Pulse oximeter is a simple test that is done to patients while they sleep. It is a non-invasive method where patients put a plastic clip on their fingertip to measure their heart rate and the amount of oxygen in their blood. The pulse oximeter can be done by the patient at home, especially if the patient has their own CPAP to record the data or at the sleeping clinic where the patient will also be observed by their sleep physician.

At James Lillenberg DDS, we are proud to be one of the leading sleep apnea-focused dental practices in St. Louis. Dr. Lillenberg has completed a mini-residency in Dental Sleep Medicine at Tufts Dental School in Boston and we are equipped with the latest technology to provide proper diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea.

Call us today at (314) 227-9141. Dr. Lillenberg is ready to help.

Understanding the Pulse Oximeter Report

The purpose of the pulse oximeter is to see if the patient is getting the right amount of oxygen in their blood while they sleep. A person without sleep apnea usually has an average of 94% of oxygen in their blood. The blood then carries the oxygen levels to the brain, which keeps the person refreshed during their sleep and upon waking up. If a person is not getting enough oxygen in their blood, they usually experience restless sleep, snoring, and excessive daytime sleepiness throughout the day.

In evaluating the pulse oximeter report, the sleep physician usually looks at several factors including:

  • The duration of the recorded data during the night
  • The estimated amount of oxygen in the blood or the SpO2 summary
  • The estimated amount of oxygen that was distributed in your blood throughout the course of the night or SpO2 distribution

The pulse oximeter report is reviewed by the sleep physician and determine if there are any abnormal drops in your oxygen levels or desaturations. The frequency of desaturations in a patient’s pulse oximeter report predicts the severity of sleep apnea.

To better visualize the pulse oximeter report, we have provided images from four different patients and their results: one is with no sleep apnea, the other with mild sleep apnea, the next is with moderate sleep apnea, and the last with severe sleep apnea.

Book an Appointment with Our St. Louis Dentist

James Lillenberg DDS welcomes all patients suffering from the symptoms of OSA. Take control of the quality of your sleep and achieve better health. We are here to provide you with proper diagnosis and a customized treatment plan for your OSA.

Get started by scheduling an appointment. Call our sleep apnea-focused dental practice in St. Louis at (314) 227-9141.


  • Qualified Dentist
  • Tufts School of Dental Medicine
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • ADA

Accomplished & Compassionate Dentist

Why Leave Your Sleep Dentistry Needs in Our Care?
  • Experienced Dentist

    For more than 35 years, Dr. Lillenberg has helped patients patients throughout the area.

  • Striving for Your Comfort

    With an emphasis on gentle care, we want to you to feel at home when you come to our office.

  • Flexible Payment Plan

    Dr. Lillenberg accepts most insurance plans and offers flexible financing options.

  • Unique Help for Sleep Apnea

    We are proud to be the only dentistry offering sleep dentistry services in St. Louis.