“The results of my appliance are amazing. My sleep doctor is completely satisfied that my appliance is managing my sleep apnea. I am thrilled to be free from my CPAP machine. Thank you for your expert care.”
“I’ve worn the appliance Dr. Gillum made for me for 4 years now. I had moderately severe sleep apnea. This wonderful device has given me back a quality of life I had long forgotten. As a result, I have lowered my blood pressure, started to exercise regularly again and have finally lost those frustrating 30 extra pounds. It’s great to have a good night’s sleep, dream and wake up feeling refreshed all day long. I can’t imagine life without my oral appliance.”
“It has been alittle over a year since I came to you to discuss the problems I was having with the headgear I was using for my Sleep Apnea. I had tried the full mask and the nose inserts and neither fit my needs. I simply couldn’t get comfortable with something on my head. Agter the discussions with you and your assistant Kim, I decided to give your mouthpiece a chance. I now use it every night and it has done the job. Kim mentioned that you want me to test the effectiveness with the device and without, and I certainly will participate. I have given your name to our long time family Dentist, Dr. Thompson, as he has some patients that asked him for assistance. They are having the same problems with the headgear that I did. So I hope you gain some new clients. Thanks for being the professional you are. And I complement you and your entire staff.”
I got the pleasure of seeing Dr. Gillum who is very nice and thorough. Also seen kim which she is awesome spends plenty of time to make sure everything is explained and understood and very pleasant to talk to. I highly recommend them both.
“I was diagnosed with moderate to severe sleep apnea in 2005. I used the CPAP machine for 8 months trying two different styles of headgear. The headgear made my nose sore and irritated my skin. It was cumbersome, uncomfortable and simply intolerable. I could not turn or move around in bed without having to constantly adjust the mask.
Getting up at night, to use the restroom, became a chore. It was also expensive to constantly replace the tubing and mask. In 2006, I read about oral appliances in a magazine and approached my dentist, Dr. Richard Gillum, about making me one. Dr. Gillum had recently been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and was researching the use of oral appliances for its management. I was Dr. Gillum’s first oral appliance patient. That was 6 years ago. I originally wore a Tap appliance. I now wear the Somnodent appliance Dr. Gillum’s personal choice having worn and evaluated most of the popular appliance styles. Both appliances work well. However, the Somnodent is superior in comfort, ease to clean and maintain.
With the oral appliance there is no head gear and the device fits comfortably in my mouth. There is no limitation to movement in bed. You can comfortably sleep in any position. The appliance is easy to clean and maintain. There are no replacement parts to buy. You can get up at night and talk and drink with the appliance in. It’s extremely small, convenient and easy to travel with. No electricity needed!
It works! I was a very loud snorer. I do not snore anymore. I sleep peacefully, have more energy and feel rested. The best thing is everyone else in the house can also get a good night of sleep without being disturbed.”
A fascinating Story from a patient that has experienced several sleep appliances during a 12 year period.
“I am a 55 year old single man who, beyond my demanding career in financial services, enjoys the outdoors through boating, fishing, hiking, and camping. When diagnosed with sleep apnea in 1998, I was told of three treatments, the CPAP, oral appliance, and surgery. At that time I was strongly encouraged to obtain the CPAP system, as the alternatives were virtually dismissed. Knowing very little about apnea at the time, let alone the treatments, I agreed to obtain the CPAP system. The day the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) system was delivered, was a day of intimidation and depression as I recall. Intimidation by way of seeing the head gear, nasal mask, air hose, and machine that I would submit to each night and have to maintain. I felt like I would be turning my bedroom into an intensive care unit, but with a handy carrying case. It was depressing to think that this would be my vehicle of good sleep from that time forward. And, this is to say nothing about relationship intimacy issues. I will leave that to the reader’s imagination. But, I tried the CPAP system for three months. I experienced a great deal of difficulty falling and remaining asleep with the discomfort of the head and nasal gear, the constant air flow, and the hose draped across the bed. There had to be a better way, and there was.
While still wrestling with the CPAP system, I began looking into oral appliances. I found a DDS that offered the NAPA appliance and began the process of creating one for me. As with all oral appliances, the device is formed to hold the lower jaw forward to help open the airway. For me, the NAPA worked very well. I woke feeling rested, without the dull headache, sore throat, and all day fatigue that comes with a non-treated sleep apnea night. And the snoring went from “world class” to a whisper. Best of all, it could easily be tucked away and go anywhere and be used anytime. I used the NAPA for many years, but even with any durable product that gets used for hours every night, it began to wear out. So, I pursued another oral appliance.
My second oral appliance was the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP). This is a two piece, upper and lower, mouthpiece that is connected together by a metal mechanism that hooks top to bottom with an adjusting device protruding in front. This appliance did work well for awhile and was easy to adjust.
My third oral appliance experience was with the Silent Nite®, a two piece upper and lower thin acrylic mouthpiece. The upper and lower parts are attached with a plastic angled strap that is intended to hold the lower jaw forward. It is very light weight, allows for opening the mouth and movement of the jaw. Nothing protrudes from the mouth and is very comfortable. But, it is definitely not durable and was not very effective in keeping the airway open or eliminating the snoring.
While having some extensive and lengthy dental work done, I went back to using my old NAPA even though it was worn and had lost some of its effectiveness. Upon completion of my dental work, that is when I was introduced to the SomnoMed , a Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS), by Dr. Richard S. Gillum, DDS. , I can say that it has all the best qualities of the oral appliances in my experience. It is durable. I see nothing that can break, similar to the durability of the NAPA. It is very comfortable, allowing movement and complete concealment in the mouth. I can even hold a conversation while wearing it. It is adjustable, allowing various stages of moving the lower jaw forward to open the airway customized for each person’s need. I have enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere, thoroughness, and genuine professionalism of those who have been working with me. This has been the best of all treatment experiences that I have had.”