Wow, what a significant difference in only a few months! Very impressive. I'm getting my DNA Appliance in a few days and have been quite nervous and worried over whether it's the right decision (it's a lot of money, especially with the cost of orthodontic treatment such as invisalign or traditional braces added on afterwards). Your blog and progress has helped calm my nerves.
Oh, and I meant to ask - has the appliance affected your speech in any way? I'm worried about a lisp!
Thanks for the comment Berry. It is gratifying to hear.However I do not understand your statement about adding Invisalign or braces after. I was never told I would have to do that. But I'll guess that is a course of treatment specific to your case and not to mine. As to your second comment, it does significantly affect my speech, which I believe I wrote about in the blog somewhere previously. Many people are likely going to wear it fewer hours per day than I because of that issue.The nature of my life and work allows me to not have to talk to non-family as much as many people would. Thus I can usually wear my appliance 12 hours or more per day whereas those worried about the sound of their speech are probably going to just wear it overnight. How many hours a day you wear it will of course affect how quickly you get through the treatment. I am proceeding more quickly than most because of the many wearing hours I put in.With a little practice I was able to make myself clearly understood while wearing my appliance, but it's not my normal voice to be sure. It sounds a lot like I might be a stroke victim.
Thank you so much for the information and your reply -- there are very minimal resources on the internet from people who have had this treatment, so this blog has been very helpful in the lead up to starting.I did read previously that in your case, you aren't required to get braces or invisalign afterwards. However, for myself personally, my dentist has included further orthodontic treatment as part of the plan. Invisalign (which is what I wanted initially) wasn't going to work on my mouth without an expander of some sort... But judging from how much this appliance has straightened your teeth though, I'm not quite sure if/why braces or invisalign will be necessary for me after the DNA appliance. I do have a bad bite at the back, very narrow jaw and some crowding, but for the most part my teeth (particularly at the front, which is what I care most about) aren't too bad at all. Time will tell, though! I have been informed that I need to wear the appliance from 5pm - 8am. Sounding like a stroke victim during this time would be fine, if I didn't work in a face to face, customer service based job at night. It's a shame it doesn't apparently work during the day, as my day job doesn't require me to be talking to a lot of people. However, it's a lot of money to be spending to not wear it as required... So I'll have to grin (or in this case, refrain from grinning) and bear it!
Thanks for adding the clarifications, Berry.As to the hours it is to be worn, as well as other details I have gotten conflicting info on from various personnel in the dental office, I often am tempted to buy Dr. Singh's book and get it all straight. If only it weren't hundreds of dollars.
Rick, do you have trouble with your saliva and swallowing? I've received my appliance and am having great difficulty. Saliva seems to accumulate (under the appliance, perhaps) and thus remains in the mouth. I can't swallow properly so the only thing that gets rid of the saliva so I don't have a mouth full of it is sucking back (which sounds just awful!). I know I'll probably get used to it, but for the moment it's very hard to adjust to.
Rick Clark, First, thank you for publishing this blog. It has the potential to improve the lives of many people including myself.I would like to ask you about the loop of wire at the back of the upper appliance (in one of the photos you are holding the appliance by this loop). My understanding is that the purpose of this loop is to guide the tongue forward into the proper anatomical positions. I also understand that it may immediately help some people by preventing the tongue from collapsing into the airway and creating apneas when sleeping.What is your experience with this loop? Did the provider spend time making a custom adjustment for you? Did you have any problems with the feel of the loop on your tongue?Again, thanks for the blog. I will be following it closely. There is now a DNA provider in my area and I am considering a consultation.Congratulations on the excellent progress!
Hi Robert,First of all let me apologize for not responding sooner. This blog is pretty quiet and I hadn't checked for new posts until just now. Also, thank you for your kind comments.My understanding of the loop is the same as yours. However I am not a sleep apnea patient, I'm just a plain old snorer, and not the worst kind I am told.The dentist did indeed work a bit on adjusting that part with the hope it might work to prevent snoring. It did seem a bit of an irritant on the tongue at first, especially when swallowing, but in any case it had no effect on my snoring. Having no benefit, the angle was subsequently lessened to be less of an bother.However I have been advised to expect that when the DNA adjustments eventually are finalized, the anatomical changes/mouth spaces that will have occurred by then should relieve the snoring situation. I still have quite a ways to go in that regard I learned recently, and I will post an article about that sometime soon.
Thanks Rick! I have a rough plan to consult with a provider in January 2012 and get the process started. Will be following all of your updates.-Robert V.
Wow! It looks great! Congratulations!