Dear Dr. Halligan & Staff,

I wanted to take a moment and share what working with you has brought to my life since helping me with my TMJ problems.

I was really frustrated when I came to you because I had dealt with chronic neck and shoulder pain for years, but this was becoming unbearable. The right side of my face was numb, my jaw throbbed, my eyes and sinus hurt like no one’s business.

So, there I was in your office, at your mercy of assistance as I had no idea what to do. Three weeks later I left with a small mouth appliance that felt like someone put my head on straight and from there life just got better.

This entire process has brought me to a point in healing I have never been before. You are a true seeker of knowledge and I am beyond grateful for your work, your patience and your unwavering subtle confidence that I felt through your years of experience. I felt safe with you as I sure many others who have sat in your chair before me have. I wish you all best in what this next chapter brings to your life. Thank you for changing mine.

In Health,

Katie Fox





Dear Dr. Halligan and Andrea,

We want to thank you so much for the time, attention and care you gave me last week. You were the 1st doctor to listen to my concerns, examine my neck and shoulders and educate me about what I was experiencing. We left with hope and guidance. We took what we learned from you to my PCP and ENT, got a proper treatment plan and now just a few days later I’ve had a significant reduction in tinnitus.

We have so much gratitude for you both.

Jenmarie & Donald







Hello Dr. Halligan,

I wanted to thank you very much for all the help you have provided me these last few months. I was suffering with terrible jaw pain and the clicking was unbearable. I was losing hope and felt I would never be the same person again. However, after being seen by you I have never felt this happy. Being able to eat again, smile, laugh and talk is something you were able to give to me. For that I thank you and your wonderful staff. I am excited to begin my journey with orthodontics! I hope you have a great summer!

Highest Regards,

Carolina Barrios







Dear Dr. Halligan, Andrea and Debbie,

I just want to thank you all for the above and beyond care you provided while treating my TMJ issues. I am so grateful I was put in contact with you all. Dr. Halligan, your expertise is truly amazing and has helped my jaw immensely. I appreciate Andrea’s kindness in sitting and talking with me during each visit and Debbie for always greeting me so warmly and being so helpful with providing any information needed for my insurance, etc. You all are a great team!

Thank you being so responsive, patient and understanding during a time that was very painful and concerning for me. My situation has improved so much, thanks to your treatment; I will always be appreciative of the help you have provided! I recommended anyone experiencing jaw pain to consult with you on how you can help!

With my deepest gratitude,

Cyndi Varacalle





Dear Dr. Halligan,

This is a long overdue thank you note to you for your excellent help in dealing with my TMJ issues. FYI, I still use my lower appliance at times…it’s comforting to know it’s there!

If I ever have the “disorder” again, I hope you and your great staff — Andrea and Debbie — will be there to rescue me!

Thanks again!!






Dear Dr. Halligan + Andrea + Debbie,

I just wanted to express my gratitude, once again, for all your willingness to help, and your incredible “bedside manner”. After all I have been through, I cannot express how amazing it is to have some hope for pain reduction and management of this condition that has affected me for 10+ years now.

Dr. Halligan, I was reading your blog post on “listen to your patients”, and I want you to know this is exactly what they now teach us in vet school – listen to the client (the owner), for they are the expert on their own animal. You have been an amazing embodiment of this surprisingly radical philosophy of care and shown me directly just how therapeutic it can be to have the doctor simply listen and give patient understanding. I will always strive to be such an excellent listener and trust in my clients when I begin as a practicing doctor in a few years.

Again, thank you so much. You guys are so well worth the money and time.





Thank you Dr. Halligan, Andrea, and Debbie! Last year I didn’t know who to turn to for the symptoms I was having with my tooth/jaw, etc. After multiple dental procedures and months of severe pain and being on around-the-clock Vicodin, my endodontist referred me to Dr. Halligan; he told me that if anyone could help me, it would be him. Now living in Indio and having to travel to San Diego for treatment would not be easy, but I was so desperate, my husband and I decided to give it a shot. I remember going to San Diego that first time and having such a calm about it and knowing in my heart that everything would be alright and I was so right! Now eight months later, I am eating (gained 5 pounds) and breathing again! I am back at the gym and doing water aerobics daily with more energy, thanks to you!

I just wanted to thank you Dr. Halligan for your immense knowledge and compassion and desire to really help people who are in such pain by explaining the treatment so well and listening to us.  Andrea, you got me through those first few months of treatment, your insightful little tidbits helped me so much, especially wanting to chew something and just letting one potato chip melt in my mouth, made me feel like I can get through this; that is just one example of your many helpful hints to get me through that first few months of wearing the day appliance. Debbie, your bright disposition at the front desk each and every time I came to the office after the long drive and keeping the door unlocked for me during lunch time was so nice of you and meant so much to me! The three of you are absolutely some of the most wonderful, knowledgeable, kind, and caring people I have ever met in my life and in the medical/dental field.

P.S. You can’t EVER retire, Dr. Halligan, people like me need you!

Doreen Nemeth, Indio, CA






Dear Dr. Halligan & Andrea,

It’s really hard for me to put into words how thankful & blessed I am for your help & treatment for the past year. I remember how discouraged & sad I felt & I’m so happy now that I’m way better!

My jaws are doing well & I’m still always careful of what I chew. My braces are coming off soon! You guys are always so sweet & nice. It was truely amazing having you guys as my TMJ specialists. Both of you are very encouraging & I thank you for everything you’ve done for me & my jaws!

God Bless & Merry Christmas!


Elise W.




Dr. Halligan, Andrea and Debbie,

Thank you for the excellent care and pleasant experience. It was positive from the get go — from the first time I called to schedule an appointment all the way through to your final prognosis (which I completely trust). Your staff is capable, caring, and friendly. They also consistently follow up on items timely.

I especially appreciate the fact that you took the time to listen to the chronology of my symptoms before moving forward with your exam and before making a final diagnosis. Many doctors don’t treat patients with the same respect as you do. Because of my overall experience, I can confidently recommend others to you with similar symptoms and know that the person will feel good about the process and treatment being prescribed.






To Bill and his lovely wife,

I want to thank you both for your kindness and generosity. Your caring way helped me to make it through the day. I will always remember you with loving thoughts. I felt as if I was given excellent care. You are a special couple.





Helen B

Dear Dr. Halligan, Andrea, Debbie,

I want to thank you all for the excellent and compassionate care I have received in your offices. As I mentally reviewed my situation, I was convinced that, while not intentionally, I had indeed taken the blessing of your treatment for granted.

I now know that I was able to move through that process so smoothly because of your clear guidance, support and professional approach. I have come to realize over time that people who are truly skilled at what they do, make it appear effortless. But what is also true is that what goes on behind the scenes is indeed much effort to make it so effortless in the final delivery.

I am the blessed recipient of that effort and both want and need to express my deep gratitude for the care I have received that has made such a difference in my life and brought me great relief in many ways.

With heartfelt thanks,

Helen B



Colleen L. Sandie

Dear Dr. Halligan,

I cannot thank you and your staff enough for your kindness, efficiency and expertise in taking such wonderful care of me during my “bite” assessment appointment! I just wish I’d known about you sooner!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!


Colleen L. Sandie



Angela G

Hello Dr. Halligan, Andrea and Debbie,

I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful medical treatment I received from you. You made me feel very comfortable and paid attention to my situation as if I was your only patient. I feel grateful to have known you personally as well as professionally. I think we have met before somewhere in time.

Your approach to treatment is very scientific in nature and you explain it to me in a way I understood without having any knowledge in TMJ. Actually, I had no idea what it was before I came to you. All I know is that my dentist wanted me to check and see if I had a problem.

I am grateful for the treatment I received from you and I love your “bed side manner” and the way you greeted me every time I came to your office, with a big smile.

Hope we meet again soon.


Angela G



Ann Marie K. and Emily

Dr. Halligan, Andrea and Debbie,

We want to thank you for treating Emily’s TMJ. It’s amazing to us how TMJ can present itself in so many different ways. Emily experienced various and seemingly unrelated symptoms over the course of several years; headaches and migraines, general irritability, poor sleep, mild depression and most persistently, foot problems which kept her from doing activities a normal 11 year old should be able to enjoy. Emily’s feet didn’t respond to the standard treatment, which kept us searching until we found Dr. Karen Anderson, MD; she told us that Emily’s foot pain was caused by TMJ. Huh? Foot pain caused by TMJ in an 11 year old without a clicking jaw? Dr. Anderson pointed us in your direction.

You and your staff were so incredibly knowledgeable that there was no doubt in my mind you would cure Emily’s foot pain by fixing her jaw (how weird does that sound?). We appreciated you explaining everything to us in terms we understood. The extensive questionnaire Emily filled out really opened my eyes to symptoms she was having that I didn’t even know existed and that nobody had ever asked before. You went over Emily’s x-rays with us so we could see exactly what the problem was and were able to follow her progress. Even though Emily’s only 11, you took the time to interact with her, making her feel comfortable and answering her many questions. And, despite your busy schedule, you quickly fit us in during those times when Emily’s appliance needed adjusting; and you never rushed us through a visit!

Your office staff was always patient and took a personal interest in Emily, both related to her TMJ and foot pain and with her life in general. She definitely formed a strong bond with you guys. After just a few months, Emily’s feet are carrying her all over the soccer fields again and her headaches are so much better.

Thank you too for talking with the other doctors involved in Emily’s care. We really appreciate your personal phone calls to Emily’s regular dentist and orthodontist; it definitely helps keep everyone on the same page.

Since there’s no way to really show how unbelievably thankful we are that you gave Emily her life back, we at least wanted to spread the word about how incredible you guys are! And please use us as a reference for your other patients. Thank you very much, we are forever grateful!


Emily K. and her parents


Cathe K.

Dear Dr. Halligan, Andrea and Debbie,

I wanted to drop you a note to let you know that I am wearing my braces and the teeth are moving as the orthodontist has planned.

It has been exciting to see the positive changes. I miss seeing you and I am very grateful to you for all you have done for me.

Without you and all that you have done for me, I wouldn’t be well on my way to getting reconstructed.

It has been a long journey and continues to be, but I am so happy I have gotten to know you. You have been wonderful.

With highest regards,

Cathe K.




Dr. Halligan,

I wanted to let you and others know how grateful I am for your TMJ treatment!

My TMJ problem evolved over several years, but all the dentists I went to kept brushing it aside until it got to the point in which I could barely open my mouth. It pained even to eat something as small as a banana. When I finally came to see you, I knew from your attentive treatment and specific questions that this was different and something would be done to actually *fix* my mouth and regain movement. I had an appliance made, which I wore for three months, and stretched regularly and took supplements, and at each checkup I was ecstatic when we marked my progress in my mouth opening–2 fingers wide, then 3 fingers, and now, ultimately, 4-fingers! I now have no pain, and now appreciate being able to open my mouth even to bite into a sandwich! My TMJ problem is a thing of the past…thank you accommodating to my school schedule and for letting me be a normal college student again!




Connie B.

Dear Dr. Halligan,

As we celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, I had occasion to think of the many things I was truly thankful about during the past year. One of the top items was my improving health. It led me to write this letter to thank you for the substantial impact you have had on improving the quality of my life over the last few months.

I came to you in pain, sure my teeth were out of sync, with symptoms that included feeling like I had a constant earache and headaches on one side of my face. Little did I know that when I took a leap of faith and began treatment, you would not only assist with those and other related symptoms, you would help with a major other health problem: my imbalance concern.

Now that I am at the spot where we are “weaning” me off the appliance, I can see the major differences in my life. My facial pain is a thing of the past. My ear feels “open”. My teeth look straight and are not causing me discomfort. The balance issue is substantially reduced, making my life so much more pleasant.

My deepest thank for all of your assistance. You made these improvements possible and I am grateful for it. If you ever need anyone to act as a reference and say how well this treatment can work, just have them call me!

Very truly yours,

Connie B.



Carolyn H. of San Diego

Dear Dr. Halligan,

When I first came to your office, I could not open my mouth far enough to brush my teeth, let alone eat. I was in serious pain. I could not bite down nor eat anything but soft foods. I was locked closed and required an injection to open me up. I had arthritis in one joint and thought I would never get well. I stretched daily with the special jaw stretcher, wore day time and night time appliances for six months.

I am happy to say I can now open wide with no pain and eat almost anything. I took and still take 2 tablespoons of Glucosamine/condroitin liquid daily and that has helped me tremendously. Now, I only wear an appliance at night. For this, I am thankful every day.


Carolyn H.
San Diego



Kevin and Karen K. of Poway

Dear Dr. Halligan, Andrea and Staff,

On behalf of the entire family, we send our heartfelt thanks to all of you for the care and treatment you have given our daughter, Vanessa.

It has been a very painful 1 1/2 years for Vanessa, as she has constantly endured severe TMJ headaches, joint aches, back pain, jaw pain and neck stress. Every few weeks, usually for a two-day stretch, her migraines would hurt so badly that she would lie curled in the dark in a fetal position until the pain subsided. After seeing many doctors, dentists, and orthodontists, we were finally referred to you by James Teal, D.D.S., from San Diego Smiles by Design.

After only one hour in your office, we were both amazed and delighted to be given not only a complete understanding of Vanessa’s condition, but the full knowledge of how and why it had developed over the years. We left with the encouragement we had been looking for, and felt confident that in only a few short weeks, our daughter would be able to smile again. We are overjoyed that she can. More than that, her eyes no longer have that glazed-over look caused by constant pain. Thanks to all of you, she can eat, sleep, work, go to school, and be a normal 21 year-old again. After suffering for so long, Vanessa finally has her life back.

Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.


Kevin and Karen K.