Desert Smiles Blog

Glendale Dentist Serving Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, and nearby areas in Arizona

April 17th, 2009

Dr. Wilcox, Shelley and Joyce were in Chicago last week for advanced training in the care of patients with snoring and sleep apnea.  Dr. Ira Shapiro, who is a pioneer in the treatment of sleep apnea with dental applicances presented a fantastic seminar.  He is the founder of the website and speaks and publishes about sleep apnea extensively.  We visited a sleep lab along with a lecture from one of the top sleep physicians in the country.  If you are looking for a Glendale or Phoenix sleep apnea dentist or would like more information regarding snoring and sleep apnea visit or call 602-978-1790 for a consultation.  Your life may depend upon it.  The National Commission on Sleep Disorder Research concluded that there is a 36% decrease in survival over eight years in untreated patients with moderate sleep apnea.

January 25th, 2009

In the January 2009 issue of the prestigious Arizona Foothills Magazine, Dr. Wilcox was recognized as one of the top dentists in the valley for 2009. At DesertSmiles we are delighted and proud to receive such positive feedback and will do our best to continue providing the finest in cosmetic, sedation, and sleep apnea treatments to our patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale and the Glendale areas. For more information visit

January 24th, 2009

The number of obese American adults outweighs the number of those who are merely overweight, according to the lastest statistics from the federal government.  Since weight is a key issue in snoring and sleep apnea treatment we provide at DesertSmiles, we are acutely aware of this negative trend.

Numbers posted by the national Center for Health Statistics show that more than 34 percent of Americans are obese compared to 32.7 percent who are overweight.

More than one-third of adults, or over 72 million people, were obese in 2005-2006, the NCHS said in its December 08 report.  The prevalence of obesity has more than doubled since 1980.

Obesity and overweight are calculated using a formula called body mass index.  BMI is equal to weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared.  Someone with a BMI of 25-29 is considered as overweight, 30-40 counts as obese and people with BMIs of 40 or more are morbidly obese.

The U.S. National INstitutes of Health has an online BMI calculator at  For more information in the Phoenix and Glendale areas regarding snoring and sleep apnea treatments contact Dr. Wilcox at 602-978-1790.

January 22nd, 2009

According to a recent article from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine ( current economic conditions in the U. S. are forcing many to cut back on health-care expenses.  Yet sleep experts advise that the cost of a sleep study is a sound investment for millions of people who suffer from a sleep disorder.   Here at DesertSmiles we have available the Watch-Pat 200 to screen for sleep disorders and to monitor the progress of patients wearing oral appliances to treat snoring and sleep apnea.

The home sleep testing is an alternative to the overnight sleep study.  It was endorsed by the AASM in December 2007.  It also was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last March.  As a result many insurance providers have begun to cover home sleep tests.  The home sleep test offers the  convenience of staying in your own bed and its lower cost.  While not as sophisticated as those provided at overnight sleep centers, they are excellent for screening for OSA and monitoring of oral appliance effectiveness.

The Watch-Pat 200 is just a part of our effort to provide our patients in the Phoenix and Glendale areas the finest in snoring and sleep apnea treatment.  Treating a sleep disorder promotes health and well being.  In the long run it can not only save you money, but improve your quality of life and longevity.

January 04th, 2009

At DesertSmiles, we continue to strive to be the finest in all facets of dental care we provide, including snoring and sleep apnea treatment.  Dr. Wilcox now makes available the Watch-Pat 200 home test unit to screen patients for snoring and sleep apnea, and to monitor the sucess of dental appliances we place.

Accurate diagnosis is of upmost importance for the proper and safe treament of snoring and sleep apnea patients we treat in the Phoenix and Glendale areas.  There is more than one type of apnea (obstructive, central and mixed) and each requires different treatment modalities.  In treating obstructive sleep apnea with a dental appliance such as the Somno Med MAS, follow-up testing is critical to insure the maximum possible benefits are being obtained.  The Watch-Pat 200 helps us have the proper information to help meake the best decisions that criticallly affect your long term health.

If you or someone you love snores or has other symptoms of sleep apnea in the Glendale and Phoenix areas, please contact Dr. Don Wilcox at 602-978-1790 for an evaluation or visit for further information.

January 03rd, 2009

Several PGA professionals are using the PPM and endorsing the product.  I am no PGA professional, but I am happy to report a noticeable increase in distance of drives since I started using the PPM.  My strength, balance and flexibility tests all show significant improvement, so it is no suprise my drives are going 20+ yards farther.  The PPM can not make you swing better.  But when you do make a good swing the results will be improved and thus, can make you a better golfer.  It is exciting to see the possible improvements I can make even at an amateur skill level with the help of the Pure Power Mouthguard.

Shaquelle O'Neal of the Phoenix Suns was fitted for the Pure Power Mouthguard prior to the season.  He wore it only in workouts until about a month ago when he started wearing it in games.  If you watch him on TV now you will see the PPM.  Over the stretch of games since he started wearing the PPM, he has perfomed much like the Shaq of years past will many double doubles and a 30+ point game.  If the PPM can help one of the top NBA players of all time, think what it can do for you if you are a serious athlete or work hard to keep in great shape.

For more information on the Pure Power Mouthguard in the Phoenix and Glendale, Arizona areas contact Dr. Don Wilcox at 602-978-1790 or visit for more information.

December 09th, 2008

The science of sleep medicine is very new and evolving rapidly. The impact of sleep on our overall health is rapidly being recognized as far more significant than previously imagined. What are some of the possible clues that you may have an unknown problem with sleep, that may have a long-term impact on your present and future health?

  • I have been told that I snore or stop breathing when I sleep, although I may have no recollection of this
  • I am often sleepy during the day, even if I sleep throught the night, and get 7 or more hours of sleep
  • I have high blood pressure
  • I have been told that I sleep restlessly.
  • I sometimes have morning headaches
  • I am overweight
  • My neck size is at least 17 inches (16 for a woman)

For more information on snoring, sleep apnea and dental appliances for the treatment of these conditions please contact DesertSmiles and Dr. Donald Wilcox for more information. Visit for information on the finest in cosmetic and sedation dentistry in Phoenix, Glendale, and other areas of Arizona.

December 07th, 2008

In the past couple of weeks we have fitted several PPM's (Pure Power Mouthguards) here at DesertSmiles.  In each instance the bite obtained has had significant, if not amazing results, in strength, flexibility and balance.   How can that possibly be?  A mouthguard is a mouthguard, right?  If you ask the recent athletes we have fitted they would give you a resounding no!!  How?

The majority of us have un-aligned jaws causing our entire bodies to work inefficiently.  This creates facial muscles which are not in their most relaxed position which affects the entire body posture.  This has an impact on athletic performance.  You have been functioning in this body for so long you do not realize it is not working as effectively as it could be.

With the proper jaw alignment, your entire body's core instantly becomes aligned allowing for it to be stronger and more balanced.  Without exerting any more effort than previously, you will experience improved endurance with a PPM.  Your range of motion will immediately be expanded.

For more information on the PPM, snoring and sleep apnea treatment, cosmetic and sedation dentistry in the Phoenix and Glendale, Arizona areas contact Dr. Donald Wilcox.

November 18th, 2008

Here is a great explanation in video format of the PPM process and benefits.   For more information regarding PPM, cosmetic and sedation dentistry, and sleep apnea dental appliances in Phoenix and Glendale, AZ areas contact DesertSmiles, 602-978-1790 or

November 16th, 2008

Sleep apnea is the fastest growing medical issue in the USA. The negative effects on our overall health are being discovered rapidly with recent and ongoing research.

Snoring occurs when the airway becomes partially blocked. As the size of the airway shrinks, the result is a muffled sound secondary to vibrations in the throat, or snoring. This is a red flag as it could also be an early sign of sleep apnea. Most all sleep apnea sufferers snore in between bouts of apnea (oxygen interruption).

In a night, these apneic events (when a person stops breathing) can occur anywhere from 30 to 50 times, and in some as many as 60-100 times per hour. Sleep should be a replenishing event, not one where we are fighting for oxygen all night.

  • Common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea sufferers are as follows:
  • heart attack or irregular heart beats
  • impotence
  • high blood pressure
  • weight gain
  • stroke
  • heartburn
  • morning headaches
  • dry mouth
  • GERD
  • depression
  • decreased libido

For more information regarding sleep apnea and the possilbity of being screened for sleep apnea with our home test unit, contact DesertSmiles and Dr. Donald Wilcox.