- Case Studies
- Professional Seminars
- Site Index
- Profile Your Health
ALF Orthopedic Expansion - Non-Extraction 2.3 Years Treatment
Conventional orthodontic treatment recommended extraction of four healthy bicuspid teeth for a 12-year-old, Melissa T. to make room for the crowded remaining teeth. The crowding was created by under development of the patient's dental arches. By removing teeth the genetic potential for growth of the patient's jaws would be compromised. When teeth are extracted and then the upper front six anteriors are retracted, the skull becomes jammed. Since the sutures, spaces between the skull bones, are viable structures (nerves, blood vessels and fibers) the contents become compressed creating neurologic (potential for chronic pain) and structural problems (scoliosis, disc compression and herniation).
A viable alternative is the use of ALF (Alternative Lightwire) appliances. Since there is no bulky plastic there is no speech problem. It is easy to clean. The patient does not remove it. The forces generated are light therefore reducing pain. The concept is very simple: with light gentle forces, the skull bones will expand and growth stimulated. With increased jaw space there is now room to guide the crowed teeth into a corrected position with conventional orthodontic braces. The other major key is that the ALF appliance must be adjusted at each visit to realign the skull bones. By so doing the foundation of the skull (maxillae- upper dental arch) is leveled. This leveling is important in reducing the amount of relapsing of the teeth into their old crooked position. Balancing the skull bones helps insure a more normal neurologic and spinal function through out the patient's life.
Case treated by Dr. Gerald H. Smith