Acoustic Reflection Technique (ART)

As a technique, a good tool. The nasal and oral airways are noninvasively mapped, using two tools: a rhinometer and a pharyngometer. They use ART to create images of an airway with sound, enabling a practitioner to discover any points of obstruction as well as the optimal position of the mandible for breathing. In addition, the pharyngometer can determine whether oral appliance therapy will be successful, and to what degree.

In practice, however, I have found it expensive, and nonreimburseable by insurance companies, thus making the initial exam very costly. One must still work through all of the adjustments necessary to get an appliance to fit comfortably and correctly; this phase depends on the clinical experience and knowledge of the prosthodontist. The ART technique has been around for many years, but has never really caught on because of the cost/benefit ratio.

The Eccovision™ acoustic reflection pharyngometer provides a non-invasive assessment of the dimensions, structure and physiological behavior of the upper airway from the oral cavity to the hypopharnyx while the patient breathes. Computer processing of the incident and reflected sound waves from the airways provides an area distance curve representing the lumen from which minimal cross-sectional area and volume can be derived. This device is marketed as a screening method to quickly assess a patient for potential sites of sleep related upper-airway obstruction, and to better determine whether an oral appliance or CPAP is more appropriate for the patient. The SNAP testing system is another type of reflective acoustic device marketed as a screening and analysis system to locate the source of snoring and detect sleep apnea conditions.

American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthodontics

The professional organization of maxillofacial prosthodontists, dedicated to the prosthetic correction and management of maxillofacial defects acquired from surgical ablation of cancer or traumatic injuries, congenital-birth defects and alterations in growth and development. The minimal requirements for membership are that one must be a licensed dentist, and have completed an accredited prosthodontic or maxillofacial prosthodontic program.

American Board of Orofacial Pain

The organization responsible for certification of dentists practicing orofacial pain management. Dentists must meet current eligibility requirements in addition to passing an examination.

American College of Prosthodontists

The official sponsoring organization of prosthodontics, which is one of nine specialities recognized by the American Dental Association.


The field of the fabrication and replication of external missing body anatomy due to birth defects, trauma, or disease.


A cemented, fixed dental structure designed to replace a missing tooth or teeth with a false tooth or teeth.

cosmetic dentistry

A specialty unrecognized by the American Dental Association focusing on aesthetics.


A type of dental restoration that covers the entire external surface of a tooth.

dental oncology

The practice of dental care that diagnoses and treats cancer, and the oral complications associated with cancer treatment.


A removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues for restoring facial contours.

Diplomate (orofacial pain)

A Diplomate is a dentist who has made significant achievements beyond the mandatory educational requirements of the specialty and who is certified by the American Board of Orofacial pain. To be educationally qualified for Board certification requires certification as a dentist, including basic college education and completion of dental school to earn the D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree. Additionally, a dentist must have completed at least 400 hours of continuing education in subjects related to orofacial pain and practiced the treatment of orofacial pain for at least 2 years. Alternately, individuals may have completed at least one year of a full-time university residency program or hospital-based program in orofacial pain. Finally, dentists must pass comprehensive oral and written examinations covering all aspects of orofacial pain.


Swallowing problems or difficulties.


The dental specialty that deals with injuries to or diseases of the pulp, or nerve, of the tooth.

facial pain

Pain in the facial region, including orofacial and craniofacial pain. Also conditions which present recurrent or persistent facial pain as the primary manifestation of disease.

General Practice Residency (GPR)

A one- or two-year educational program leading to a certificate, designed to provide clinical, didactic, and hospital experience at the postdoctoral level. The instruction and experience provided are intended to prepare dental residents to meet the oral health needs of a broad range of patients.

implants, intraoral and extraoral

Screws, meshes, or blades that are surgically inserted into bone through mucosa or skin. These serve as retentive mechanisms for devices such as hearing aids, teeth, substructures, and prostheses (dental or maxillofacial).

internal bleaching

Treatment for a dead tooth, applied internally to restore coloration to match other teeth.

iontophoretic medicinal carrier

Transdermal delivery of medication via the skin or mucosa, that involves the application of electric currents to drive ionic molecules across the skin. This delivery enables localized, rather than systemic, doses.

lichen planus

A skin disease that affects both men and women. It may occur at any age, but usually affects middle-aged adults. Lichen planus may also affect the scalp, face, nails, vagina, and inside the mouth. On the scalp, lichen planus can cause hair loss. Lichen planus of the nails can cause brittle or split nails. In the mouth, it looks like lacy white patches on the inside of the cheeks or on the tongue.


An imperfect closure or meeting of opposing teeth caused by abnormal growth of the upper or lower jaw.


The process of chewing of food.

maxillofacial prosthodontics

The branch of dentistry that pertains to the restoration and maintenance of oral function, comfort, appearance and health of the patient through restoring of natural teeth and/or replacing missing teeth and contiguous oral and maxillofacial tissues with artificial substitutes.


A vascular headache caused by blood flow and chemical changes in the brain that lead to constriction of arteries supplying blood to the brain, and the release of certain brain chemicals, causing severe pain, stomach upset, and other symptoms.

myofascial pain

A common form of temporomandibular disorders; discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function, the neck, and shoulder muscles.


A device used to close a defect, gap, or hole in the palate, thus enabling speech, swallowing, and eating or drinking.

ocular conformer (surgical)

A medical device used to prevent the collapse or closing of the eye cavity, and preserve the opening for prosthetic replacement after surgery.

orofacial pain

Includes, in general: non-specific headache, neck ache, ear pain, face pain, tenderness of muscles to palpation, sensation of bite change, difficulty chewing and/or swallowing, joint sounds, and limits to normal range of jaw motion.


A degenerative joint disease, or a disorder of the joints, characterized by progressive deterioration of cartilage and bone.


A single full-mouth x-ray, created by an x-ray machine that moves around the entire face and provides a single sheet of film showing the entire mouth.


A removable dental device that replaces missing teeth and supporting gum tissue.


The branch of dentistry dealing with diseases of the gums and other structures supporting the teeth.


The dental specialty dealing with the replacement of missing teeth and other oral structures.

referred pain

Pain originating in a malfunctioning or diseased area of the body, but perceived in another area, often far from the origin.

sleep apnea

A breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep.

speech deficits

The inability to articulate sound due to birth defects, trauma, or disease.

stomatognathic system

The mouth, teeth, jaw, muscles, joints, and oropharynx.

temporomandibular joint

A joint that slides and rotates just in front of your ear, consisting of the temporal bone (side and base of the skull) and the mandible (lower jaw).


"Ringing" in the ears, such as a high pitched or low buzzing sound and other noises perceived within the head, in the absence of any external noise source.


A means of obtaining pictures of the interior of the body.

trigeminal neuralgia

A disorder of the fifth cranial (trigeminal) nerve that causes episodes of intense, stabbing, electric shock-like pain in the areas of the face where the branches of the nerve are distributed.


Dry mouth. Not a disease in itself, it can be a symptom of certain diseases, or a side effect of medications or treatment such as radiation.