SoundBite™ is a two-piece hearing aid system for individuals with single-sided deafness. An ear-piece, worn in your ‘good’ ear, corresponds with a dental appliance worn on the three back molars on the same ‘good’ side. The oral appliance can be worn all day even while eating. The device uses bone conduction to transmit sound waves making it possible to hear in the deaf-sided ear.
The process of having a SoundBite™ appliance made involves a partnership between a licensed SoundBite™ dentist and an audiologist. Dr. Mailloux was excited to become a dental partner for SoundBite™ when she first learned about the technology and the potential to change lives. She immediately began receiving patient referrals from Dr. Stelios Dokianakis at Holland Doctors of Audiology. Dr. Dokianakis is currently the only audiologist in West Michigan licensed to provide a prescription for the SoundBite™ system and his office is conveniently located right around the corner from Mailloux Dentistry.
Once a patient is determined to be a good candidate for SoundBite™, their oral health and bone density must be evaluated by a dentist. A typical SoundBite™ evaluation appointment at Mailloux Dentistry includes a series of X-rays and a gum exam. Such information helps Dr. Mailloux determine if any restorative or periodontal treatment needs to be done in order to preserve the integrity of the molars that will be used to mount the device. The molars need to be both free of cavities and gum disease to ensure success of the SoundBite™ oral device. If any treatment needs to be completed prior to the device being made, you can choose to schedule the treatment at Mailloux Dentistry or return to your general dentist.
The next step involves having dental impressions taken of your teeth. An assistant will use the impressions to pour up a model for the Sonitus Medical™ lab technicians to use while manufacturing your custom hearing aid. The finalized SoundBite™ device is shipped back to Dr. Dokianakis where the patient will schedule a try-in to test out how it works.
You can learn more about SoundBite™ here and we’ve answered some frequently asked questions below. If you need more information or would like to schedule an appointment at Mailloux Dentistry for your dental evaluation, please call our office at (616) 392-3717.
Do you need to take new X-rays if I’ve recently had updated ones taken with my regular dentist? If you have had a digital panoramic or full-mouth series of X-rays taken within the past year, they can be emailed to Dr. Mailloux at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Mailloux may need to collect a sample of supporting X-rays to help with her evaluation but likely they would be taken at no additional cost if you provide current ones. Any new X-rays taken at Mailloux Dentistry can be digitally transferred back to your general dentist via email.
How much will my evaluation appointment cost? Without insurance, and assuming a full mouth X-ray needs to be taken, the total cost of the appointment is $380. If you provide a current full-mouth X-ray, the appointment is $170. If you have dental insurance, portions of the appointment may be covered and your out-of-pocket expense may end up being less. We accept most major insurance plans and can help verify your coverage before your appointment.
How long is a typical evaluation appointment? Most patients have their evaluation and impressions completed within one hour. In cases where a new full-mouth X-ray isn’t necessary, the appointment may be shorter. In cases where multiple impressions are needed to obtain a good model for your SoundBite™ device, the appointment may be a bit longer. An additional appointment would need to be scheduled if restorative or periodontal treatment is necessary before a SoundBite™ device can be manufactured.