The Acoustic Pharyngometer (sometimes called a Acoustic Reflection Imaging) is a non-invasive diagnostic instrument used to measure the airway.It works by reflecting acoustic waves off of the pharyngeal airway. Precise and reproducible results are displayed in the form of an airway cross-sectional graph that shows air volume at various distances into the airway.
This allows for accurate assessment of the airway problem and helps determine if an oral appliance is the appropriate treatment
choice. If an oral appliance is decided upon as the best course of treatment, the pharyngometry data allow the appliance to be
designed for maximum airway opening and maximum effectiveness. Without the use of three-dimensional pharyngometry, a practitioner can only approximate fittings of an oral appliance.
How is, Pharyngometry done?
Pharyngometry is non-invasive and only takes a few minutes. The patient sits upright and places the pharyngometer in their mouth. The fit is similar to a snorkeling mouthpiece - the device fits between the teeth. The practitioner has the patient move their jaw backward and forward, while sound waves measure the airway volume in real-time. This allows the practitioner to locate the most unstable and narrowest portions of the airway. A bite guide is then placed in the mouth to approximate the position of an oral appliace, to determine the best starting point to stabilize and open the airway. Thus, precise fitting of the oral appliance can be made.