ALF Body Wire Loops

Jun 07, 2016


When designing your ALF appliances, be specific about the loops. Depending on what you want to achieve, give detailed instructions about the shape, length, and orientation.

The ALF (Alternative Lightwire Functional) has a deceptively simple design. But to fabricate a good appliance takes paying attention to many small details. Let’s talk about the loops in the body wire.

The purpose of loops is to
– enable arch development, transverse or sagittal
– create space for individual teeth
– function as stress breakers

We use two basic shapes:



– The hairpin style has parallel sides and is easier to adjust than the omega loop.
– The omega shape has additional curvature creating more “body” or resistance. We think of it as more potent to allow the cranial mechanism to unwind as it seeks its own balance around it.
– Use the omega shape for the upper midline loop because of cranial considerations. For all other loops, chose the hairpin style for ease of adjusting.

The length of the loops should follow these guidelines:
– upper midline loop: omega-shaped, 6 – 7 mm long
– lower midline and lateral loops: hairpin-shaped, 4 – 5 mm long

The orientation of the loops dictates the force vectors that will be caused by adjustments (opening of loops).
– midline loop: mainly transverse arch development
– lateral loops close to the cribbed molars: sagittal force vector, but mainly used as stress breakers. Significant because the extra length in the wire ensures that forces created more anteriorly are transferred gently, avoiding undue tilting or tipping of the molars. The loop also allows forces during mastication to keep molars upright during arch development.
– lateral loops close to the canines: sagittal arch development (particularly if no crescents are in place)

Warm personal regards,
Ljuba Lemke

P.S. The ALF online seminar is now also available to osteopathic physicians and myofunctional therapists at a reduced price. Please inquire about discount coupons.

ALF Online Seminar                                     

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