Sleep Apnea Appliance

Is This Treatment Perfect From Day1? Is It Worth A 70 Mile Drive?

Posted on September 12, 2014 by Dr. Erin Elliott

I was watching a segment on Home & Family one day before work. They were talking with a Dr. about sleep apnea. He was explaining the new devices that would replace or help a person who used a C-Pap machine. I wrote down the information and called my ENT, Dr. Tacia. She recommended Post Falls Family Dental. Dr. Tacia had sent people down to Dr. Elliott and they had experience great results. My medical information was sent. I called and quickly got an appointment. Everyone at the office was so helpful. They explained the cost and were willing to work with us. It was worth EVERY penny!

I was so afraid I wouldn’t be a candidate for the oral appliance. I struggled with my C-Pap machine. They would keep increasing the pressure on my machine. It was working, but still not the way I needed it to. I worried about the cost, but my husband and I decided it was worth the risk. I saw Dr. Elliott and she explained why I was having the problems with sleep apnea. I was so excited to know that their really might be a solution to my problem.

I got my fitting for the appliance. Yes it was “yucky” tasting, but it wasn’t unpleasant. Soon, I got the call that my appliance was in! I was given instructions on how to use it. The first night it felt a little “full” in my mouth, but I remembered the end result and kept on! After a few nights it didn’t bother me at all. I was using my C-Pap and the oral appliance. I had been using the C-Pap for five years or more and had never slept without it. I used it when I would nap and I refused to fall asleep in the car without my machine.

We decided to go camping one weekend. I believe I had the oral appliance for 2 months by then. We arrived late to our camp site and it was cold and rainy. When we got ready to climb into the tent we realized we had misplaced the inverter for the C-Pap machine! I was in tears, cold and tired. I was terrified to fall asleep. “Well, I guess we’ll see how your mouth piece works,” my husband said. My husband later told me he prayed that I would relax and sleep. He stayed awake for a few hours listening to me sleep. He was ready to wake me if I stopped breathing. After a while he realized that I was sleeping fine! Guess what! IT WORKED! I slept 4 nights with just my oral appliance! No more tube wrapping around my neck, pressure from my nose piece or noise! It was freedom!

I know it sounds pretty dramatic, but it was! Yes it is pricy but your health is worth it. It is worth the time and money to drive about 70+ miles one way to the Dentist. I wish I had known sooner about the oral appliance. One thing I like about it is that I can still talk after I have it in. The adjusting part can be painful at times, but I find that if I do the exercises that Brianne recommends, it really helps. Would I do it again? You bet!

Thank you to the staff for all of their patience and encouragement. I am sleeping better than I have in many, many years.