ALF: Orthodontics Beyond Mechanics

Aug 04, 2016

With a mechanical approach, the dentist assumes to know what is best for the patient. The primary focus is on cosmetics; little thought goes towards how the applied forces affect the rest of the body. There is a preconceived notion of what the final result should be.

Recently I received an interesting report from an osteopath. Being present during an orthodontic treatment visit of one of his patients with full braces, he observed the following:
“Interestingly, but not surprisingly, she got quite strained, developing a scoliosis after the arch wire was taken off. This improved when the new wire was put on, and then went totally haywire when the rubber bands were placed to bring the lower teeth forward. It was funny to have 5 people watch as one of the bands was put on and her whole body twisted up.”
“This same girl, having a history of severe ear infections 5 times per year (at 11 years old) which cleared with Cranial Osteopathy, was hospitalized for 5 days on IV antibiotics 3 days after her Damon was placed (she had not had an infection in 2 years). Now we see her each time she gets adjusted. It often takes 3 treatments to get all the membranous strain out, resolve the scoliosis it causes her and get her temporal bones and cranium to a place where she won’t get ear infections. Very sluggish treatments, but at least treatable.”
The critical factor of fixed mechanics, whether Damon or any other system, is the amount of force applied. It determines how the cranial mechanism of the individual patient reacts.

An alternative to full braces can be a partial strap-up, placing braces on just 4 or 6 anterior teeth. Ideally, a lightwire appliance is kept in place to support the existing arch development.

Once dentists concede that the body has immanent knowledge far beyond the current scientific one, our treatment objectives change. We don’t want to dictate treatment anymore, but instead, we aim to remove obstacles obstructing the healing process. We use forces that are within the physiologic limit of the body without overpowering it.
That makes orthodontic treatment an opportunity to improve overall well-being and provide a foundation for better health for decades to come.
ALF dentists are challenged on developing accuracy in adjusting a lightwire appliance. The elegant and minimalistic design makes the ALF appear deceivingly simple. But skills are required to bring about the desired positive cranial changes as treatment progresses.
For those who know how to adjust an ALF satisfying results come easily. Others feel that “it just doesn’t work”. Giving attention to the basics can change their experience.


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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