Updates or Lack Thereof

My last check-in with the dentist was in mid-December and my next one isn’t until mid-March. I wish I could give some exciting updates, but I really don’t have any. I continue to turn the appliance when things feel ready, usually every 7-9 days. The bottom one, I’m turning every 2-3 weeks, whereas the top is weekly. I likely have another 2-3 months of widening this and then I’m told I’ll have to do an additional year. In short, there are quite a few changes that are still anticipated.

The upsides?  Well, it hasn’t broken recently and I do sleep better with it, though I’m still having more bad nights then good nights. My wife says I still snore, but not as badly, but it isn’t gone either.

So the blog isn’t dead, but unless I wake up feeling great a number of consecutive mornings, I’ll give another update after my next appointment. On a scale of 1-10, I still range between 3-6 of feeling rested in the morning. That’s a wide range, but it varies that much.

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Tracking Progress: Part 2

It’s been awhile since an update and I recently had a check-in with the dentist. I’ll get to those details in the next few days, but wanted to share the latest chart of how many hours per day I wear the Vivos Life DNA Appliance, including how often I turn it. For the last chart, refer to Tracking Progress: Part 1.

DNA Appliance Progress_Part 2

So Is The Vivos DNA Appliance Working?

That’s really the question of this whole blog for the Vivos DNA Appliance. Short-term…..yes. Long-term, remains to be seen. What I mean by this is that I’m noticing sizeable short-term improvement. I’m snoring less, have improved sleep, have a few mentally alert days here and there, etc.

I knew I was tired, but have begun to surprise myself with how tired. About 1 month ago, I was engaging with one of my staff and just felt more mentally alert, it is hard to explain. Long-term remains to be seen because the sleep apnea is still there. I still have more bad days than good days, in terms of feeling rested. However, there were hardly any good days before.

Up until this point, I’ve officially been on this device about 10 1/2 months. Considering the various setbacks regarding seconds opinions from doctors, breakages, etc. I’m probably like 8 months of progress. The last breakage required that I go without the appliance for a couple of weeks, I absolutely noticed a difference. My coffee intake began to climb in the afternoon, and awakening was just awful. As soon as I got the appliance back in my mouth, I almost immediately began to sleep better again.

I believe the next few months will really solidify my progress.

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional in any way, shape, or form. This blog is meant to be a perspective on my specific experience. Please consult with your own medical professional as to whether this or any other treatment may be right for you.

Durability Problems

As previously stated here, progress was going good and I was finally to feel a little more alert and better rested (more on that in the next post). We needed to slow the down the bottom a lot, and the top a little bit. While I was traveling, I was cleaning the Vivos DNA Appliance one night, popping it in my mouth. I thought it felt strange, so I pulled it out to discover that a rather sizeable chunk broke off on my left back tooth side. I never did find the piece that broke off.

Broken Appliance

Regardless, a commenter here, a month or so ago, expressed concern at the breakage wondering if the device is appropriate for serious clinchers. I said I clench pretty hard and just wrote it off as some fluke. Now a few months later, another piece has broken off. The dentist said this has never happened to their other patients, but after two breaks in one year, I’m starting to wonder. The breaks are frustrating. I need to drive an hour each way to the dentist, they have to take new molds, send off  molds, wait for molds to be made, molds are mailed back, you get the idea. The whole process took at least 3 weeks the last time this happened. With an item that changes things at such an incremental level, it can make you feel like you’re moving the speed of snail. In this case, since I was traveling for an extended time, it put me about a month behind in my treatment.

When I was going through this process the second time, I had a tense conversation with the dentist office of why it shouldn’t take three weeks for a new replacement. The lab reportedly said they could overnight the item, but it would be a $59 processing fee. Seriously? That was an opportunity to see Vivos customer service shine. It didn’t. More sad, Vivos didn’t replace the item, they just repaired it. You can see where the work was done. Maybe that matters, maybe it doesn’t, we’ll see if that repair holds.

The good news? I really am truly telling a difference for those last few weeks where I was waiting on a new appliance, I learned how much it was helping me, once I didn’t have it.

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional in any way, shape, or form. This blog is meant to be a perspective on my specific experience. Please consult with your own medical professional as to whether this or any other treatment may be right for you.

 

Slowing Down

I had another check-up about 1 1/2  months ago. The dentist is very pleased with the progress. Her main request was that I stop expanding the bottom to allow the top to catch-up. In turn, I was only to turn the top once every 10 days. I had to make sure to keep track of my days, as before it was just a turn for both top and bottom, once a week, usually Sunday nights. No other instructions on length of time each night, just the usual at least 10 hours. I was about 3 turns in, before the appliance BROKE AGAIN! This makes two times now. Details on that in the next post.

A Correction On Naming

From the start of this blog, I’ve referred to the palate expander as “DNA Appliance”. This is what it was technically called back during the Dr. Singh days. Through lots of company growing/selling stuff. I won’t get into it here, look it up if you like, here and here. Henceforth, I’ll refer to it as “Vivos DNA Appliance” by Vivos Life. Many people still call it DNA, so this should make it more applicable within search engines.

Tracking Progress: Part 1

I wish I began this earlier, but during my appointment a few months ago, I was getting a little tired of telling multiple people the same information again and again about how many hours I was wearing the appliance. Medical appointments, right? I was already using an app on my phone to track when I started and stopped, so I moved all the information to an Excel sheet (attached below). One column is the nightly number of hours, with dates that I widened both the top and bottom appliances. The other column is basically where I enter information on how many hours I actually wore it during the day. If 1 hour is listed, that could mean 1 hour straight or two different times of 30 minutes. There was a hiccup for a few days, where the top appliance kept falling out. I tightened the metal pieces, per instruction from the dentist office and it was fine after that. Also I was traveling around the beginning, so long days and short nights significantly kept me from the 10 hours, so I couldn’t turn it weekly for a couple of weeks.

DNA Appliance Progress_August 21 2018