History of A.L.F. Appliances
The A.L.F. appliance was originated and designed by Dr. Darick Nordstrom of Hollister, California in the early 1980’s. Dr. Nordstrom recognised the need to provide more than just an aesthetic alignment of the teeth. From his extensive knowledge of how the body works, Dr. Nordstrom saw the need to correct the other structures that were attached to the teeth: upper jaw (maxillae) and skull bones. He soon discovered that by correcting these other components patients noted relief and disappearance of chronic headaches, neck, shoulder and lower back pains and other seemingly unrelated symptoms: PMS, fatigue, digestion problems, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, etc. This major breakthrough establishes dentistry’s role in restoring patient function, health and improving their quality of life. Since discovering the A.L.F. appliance, Dr. Nordstrom has dedicated his professional career to perfecting the A.L.F.’s design and treatment approach.
A.L.F. Treatment Philosophy
Dr. Nordstrom’s belief was that a less bulky, light wire removable appliance would prove more beneficial than existing devices. The A.L.F. appliance could be fitted to the dental arches and apply a continuous light force to the skull bones and teeth. Orthodontic treatment has proven clinically that continuous light forces applied to the teeth and skull bones have a more beneficial effect than applying heavy continuous forces. The Arndt-Schulz Law is well stated in the 26th edition of Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary: “Weak stimuli increase physiological activity and very strong stimuli inhibit or abolish activity.” This concept is supported and has been clinically verified by use of homeopathic medicines (more dilute substances cause a strong healing change”, micro-currents (extremely low levels of electrical currents cause a greater healing response), natural vitamin supplements cause a better healing response), etc. The A.L.F. appliance follow the Arndt-Schultz Law by applying a light, continuous force to the teeth and skull bones.
Purpose of the A.L.F. Appliances
The A.L.F. appliance has a three fold purpose: (1) Correct distortions of the skull; (2) Correct distortions of the maxillae (bone that supports the upper teeth); and (3) Correct the alignment of the upper and lower teeth to improve the bite. Structural distortions of the skull bones can develop from birthing trauma, genetics, misalignments that result from loose teeth or premature loss of teeth, auto accidents and contact sports or any trauma to the head. The appliance can also be used to treat upper neck, shoulder or even lower back problems since malposition of the teeth directly affect these areas as well as many other body functions.
Benefits of the A.L.F. Appliances
- Aesthetics and Comfort
- Less frequent adjustments and surgery visits
- Unhampered speech
- Reduced tooth soreness during tooth movement
- Quicker results since appliances are constantly worn
- Easy to clean
- Special Post-Graduate Training
A Post-graduate course is required to successfully learn the neurology, functional anatomy, dental-body interrelationships and manual dexterity needed to carry out the mechanical skills of this state of the art technology. Dentists who have completed such training have gone that extra mile to provide their patients with one of the best dental treatment approaches to have ever been developed in the field of dentistry and the entire profession of the healing arts!
Examination of the patient may involve taking a combination of special x-ray views (cephalometric x-ray – lateral view of the skull; panoramic view – full jaw survey or full mouth series), diagnostic casts of the patient’s teeth, photographs of the face and teeth; visual observation of the oral cavity, body posture and evaluation of the patient’s skull. Once these diagnostic records are complete, the dentist will formulate a custom treatment plan to carry out correction of the misaligned teeth, jaws and skull.
Treatment duration and technique varies from one patient to another depending on the complexity of their dental abnormality. In general, active treatment times range anywhere from 18 to 36 months. Actual treatment focuses on three phases. The first phase of therapy involves correcting cranial distortions by means of the A.L.F. appliance. The second phase also uses the A.L.F. appliance to correct the structural distortions of the upper jaw (base of the skull). The third phase of treatment may require use of the A.L.F. appliance and / or conventional orthodontic braces to realign the teeth, improve jaw and teeth function and enhance the patient’s smile.