I tried it all – lotions, potions, oils, nose rings, CBD, pillows, strips, hypnotherapy. You name it. Then I visited Chelsea Dental Clinic and met Dr. Richard Pollock who changed my life overnight. Sleep is so important and snoring was resulting in poor quality sleep, night time breathing issues, annoying my family and in one case, my neighbours. In the daytime, I was tired and even nodded off in an afternoon meeting or two.
Chelsea Dental Clinic is owned by award winning Dr. Rhona Eskander who is best known for being a platinum level Invisalign provider and making smile dreams come true. At Chelsea Dental Clinic, Dr. Eskander and her team carry out a wide range of treatments.
A Mandibular Advancement Device is a device that is worn on the teeth at night only during sleep, similar to an orthodontic appliance. There are MANY options out there but the premise is to move the lower jaw down and forward to keep the airway open while I am asleep. At Chelsea Dental Clinic, the solution offered is something called a Garcia Appliance which he commonly uses to treat TMD (jaw joint problems).
Dr. Pollock is my kind of dentist. Straight forward, kind, highly skilled and very pragmatic. This Scotsman’s skill extends well beyond fitting devices from same day crowns, treating headaches and tinnitus all the way to reconstruction implant surgery. We talked about the treatment and he said that when fitted properly, this is an effective solution for many people. His lengthy experience has seen him work with many oral devices over the years after our consultation, we decided this was the best option going forward.
Below is my experience of how this Garcia Appliance stopped my snoring.
The Consultation at Chelsea Dental Clinic
I met Dr. Pollock to assess my jaws, mouth and jaw joint. He examined the shape, strength and overall construction of the jaw without the need for an x-ray. Immediately he noticed that my lower jaw was really narrow and trapped back in position and we talked about the options available which included comprehensive orthodontic treatment to correct the narrowness and position of my jaw although this would take much longer.
Impressions were taken of my upper and lower jaws and sent off to a UK lab (Lab Eleven) where the Garcia Appliance would be made. The process was completely painless even for a nervous dental patient like me. The device is completely individual to my mouth and can also be adjusted after it has been made if the jaw needs to be pushed forward a little more.
Ten days after the consultation, I was back at Chelsea Dental and Dr. Pollock showed me how to wear the device on my lower jaw only and made sure it fitted snugly. This was the first time I had worn anything in my mouth during the night but it is super easy to install. Just pop it in till it clicks into place.
What it feels like
During the night it feels normal. You get used to it very quickly. I wore it for an hour before bed to get used to the feeling of it and it was fine. I put a little Vaseline on my lips to keep them moist as its hard to lick your lips with the device in your mouth. A very small price to pay! It’s also a little harder to be understood if you talk with the device in so save the good conversation till the morning.
WOW. I set my phone to record any noises and woke up to complete silence and me moving around once during the night. After 10 years I had completely stopped snoring overnight thanks to my jaw being positioned slightly more forward. I was quite emotional and couldn’t believe how quickly it worked. I slept on my side and also on my back and there was no snoring whatsoever.
I removed the device and my jaw felt a little stiff for about 10 minutes after I removed it but soon became totally normal. I washed the Garcia Appliance and placed it back in its box as if it was a diamond encrusted Rolex.
The main benefit is the reduction in muscle activity of the facial muscles if not complete relaxation of them in addition the position of posture which helps prevent/reduce snoring. This is where the Garcia beats the various oral appliances available because these still allow muscle activity and in some cases high muscle activity.
Three months later
I am still not snoring. At all. I put the Garcia Appliance in religiously when I sleep, knowing that I won’t be snoring, disturbing anyone and above all, I am breathing properly and getting a good night’s sleep. In the morning, I feel fresh and I am not sleepy during the day.
Thank you Chelsea Dental Clinic and Dr. Pollock for changing my life. Take my Rolex watch any day.
The Garcia Appliance from Chelsea Dental Clinic costs from £950.
To discover more about Chelsea Dental Clinic, visit: chelseadentalclinic.co.uk
My top tips in choosing the right oral device:
- Pick the right dentist – The dentist’s skill is so vital in this process and makes all the difference as any oral device has to be fitted accurately. Make sure you choose someone with experience who knows these devices inside out. Every mouth is different so Dr. Pollock at Chelsea Dental Clinic was able to choose the best device just for me.
- Take care of your device – Make sure you wash it every morning and once a week put it in a little Milton liquid to disinfect it. If you are going on holiday, pack it in your hand luggage just in case you want to sleep on the plane and so that it doesn’t get lost.
- Persevere – I’m lucky in that I don’t fidget in my sleep so if you are a fidgeter/sleep talker/sleep walker and you remove your device at night while you’re asleep, insert the device a couple of hours before bedtime so you are used to it in your mouth physically and mentally.
- Pay the extra – Off the shelf devices cost a lot less but won’t do the same job. Pay the extra and have a device made for your mouth. This is likely to achieve the best results and is a long-term investment in your health.
- Monitor your sleep – I measure my night time pulse and breathing quality using my Zepp watch. A great app to record noise at night is Sleep Talk. The app picks up any noises at night. Previously it used to record 700 clips a night of crescendos/symphonies of my snoring but now all I hear is the occasional dog bark and the bins being collected on a Monday.