In this post we will describe the appliance that can be used to unravel cranial distortions and collapse: the ALF.
ALF is an acronym for Advanced Lightwire Functional Appliances. In this post we will describe the use and purpose of the ALF device based on the work of Dr. Gerald H. Smith.
ALF treatment is one of the main parts of of the Protocol for the Treatment of Cervical Dystonia that we have developed, alongiside the Splint Therapy with a modified Gelb-Rectifier lower dental appliance.
Video Introduction to ALF Orthodontics/Orthopedics
The following video will provide an introduction to ALF in 2 minutes.
The ALF appliance was originally designed in 1983 by Dr. Darick Nordstrom to be a vehicle in a comprehensive dental orthopedic/orthodontic treatment approach. What Dr. Nordstrom initially discovered and later a handful of his disciples is that the ALF proved to be the best instrument to unravel the structural distortions of the skull bones and stabilize the cranial/dental complex.
The ALF System represents the missing link between conventional orthodontics and the more progressive functional orthopedic/orthodontic concepts. In reality, the ALF concept goes beyond the dental realm and supplies many answers to solving the age old problems of chronic somatic pain and generalized ill health.
The ALF appliance allows to:
- Correct cranial bone distortions
- Correct maxillary cant
- Align teeth to stabilize the cranium
This is how an ALF device looks like when positioned on the maxillary teeth.
ALF is little more than a wire anchored on first molars and upper canines. It is activated and creates orthopedic forces by expanding the omega loops. In essence, it takes advantage of the force of the tongue when swolloing to expand and align the maxillary arch, palate and teeth. The force that it uses is extremely limited and light but constant.
The fact that the ALF is not anchored to teeth (unlike traditional brackets for orthodontics) allows for the maximization of cranial movement.
The final goal of ALF treatment is to achieve balance of the dental planes:
The key to making the ALF appliance work is to adjust the appliance so that it balances four cranial indicators. Only by correcting crania bone alignment will the patient experience a cure.
Aligning the Cranial Base
When used properly, the ALF appliance enables orthodontists to correct cranial base abnormalities, which in turn corrects bodily function.
Since the maxillae represents the anterior 2/3 cranial base and functions as the balancing mechanism for the entire skull, foramen magnum and atlas, it must be corrected first. By aligning the maxillae, it provides the foundation or template to build into.
From a clinical perspective, if the maxillae is distorted so goes the rest of the body. Since 46% of the motor and sensory neurons of the cerebral cortex of the brain relate to the face and mouth, maxillary distortions have the potential of disrupting the central nervous system and changing neurological function throughout the entire body.
Balance of the maxillae is critical for maintaining total structural integrity of the entire craniosacral mechanism. The dental complex via the occlusion provides the self-correcting mechanism for balancing the skull bones.
When the maxillae is crooked and teeth alignment is faulty the entire body goes into a compensation mode. This fact is exemplified by patient feedback that their structural manipulations do not hold. Invariably a dental component exists when there is strutural instability. No amount of symptomatic treatment will correct the underlying dental problem. It is for this reason that patient problems linger.
Adjusting the ALF
The following video will provide a description of how to carry out adjustments of the ALF appliance to correct cranial derangement.
The following case study drives home the importance of employing ALF Principles in orthodontic treatment.
All symptoms started after conventional orthodontics were completed at age 17. Fifty doctors were seen during the 10 year period.
The ALF appliance is designed to correct the maxillary horizontal plane as well as help realign the teeth. The foundation must be corrected first before the lower teeth are moved.
Pre-Tx model exhibits canted maxillary transverse plane. The cranial base was distorted and the mandible over closed on the left setting up compression of the left TM joint and a structural domino effect.
The following picture is a case treated by Dr. Jeffrey Brown. It shows the pre and post treatment RX of a young man who could not attend college, had severe arm spasms/tics, could not see straight, and experienced dizziness.
As the film shows, following 1 year of ALF treatment, the nasal septum is straighter, the palate more even, the cervical spine is better aligned, his eyes are more even, the mastoid bones (by the ears) are more level, the neck straighter, the zygomatic arches more level and he can open the mouth more. He is back in school too.
Cranial Strains and Maloclusion: Palatal Expansion. By Gavin James, MDS, FDS and Dennis Stroken, DDS. International Journal of Orthodontics, 2009.
ALF Advanced Lightwire Functional Appliances. By Dr. Gerald H. Smith.
Dental Distress Syndrome Quantified. By Dr. Aelred C. Fonder.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment to Resolve Head and Neck Pain After Tooth Extraction. By Patricia M. Meyer, DO, MS and Sharon M. Gustowski, DO, MPH
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Navigate Through this Blog
To further understand our reasearch, approach and method, please read:
POSTS ABOUT THE CAUSES OF DYSTONIA
You can find herebelow a selection of the posts on this blog dedicated to the treatment of Dystonia.
|CAUSES OF DYSTONIA|
|A Bio-Mechanical Approach to Dystonia
The line of research that this blog follows is based on the belief that the cause of Dystonia is strictly related to a bio-mechanical collapse of the upper cervical and lowert cranial area.
|Bio-Mechanics of Dystonia
A description of 10 bio-mechanical derangements, impairments and misalignments that patients suffering from Dystonia (and other neurological movement disorders) tipically present.
|Phases of Lateral Postural Colapse
Our analysis of the descending skeletal and postural effects of a collapsing and twisting skull that does not find adequate support in the dental arches.
|Postural Colapse and Dental Arches
A set of animations that present grafically the type of skeletal and postural effects that we intend to produce over a few months by modifying occlusion and the direction of forces between the skull and the mandible.
|What is Dystonia?
What came first? The chicken or the egg? Mainstream academic Neurology defines Dystonia as a neurological disorder with physical movement consequences. In reality, Dystonia is a physical injury that has neurological consequences.
It is an impairment of the ability of the neck to support the skull.
|Iatrogenic Damage: When the Dentist is a Butcher
Our review of how modern dental theories on occlusion oversimplify and misunderstand the biomechanics of the stomatognatic system, leading to a high potential of traumatic dental treatments.
|Can you Trust your Dentist?
The relation between dental treatments and the onset of Dystonia y a well established scientific fact. Please read this post before you consider the convenience of carrying out ANY dental treatment and before you choose the dentist who should carry it out. This post may save your life.
POSTS ABOUT THE TREATMENT OF DYSTONIA
You can find herebelow a selection of the posts on this blog dedicated to the treatment of Dystonia.
|TREATMENT OF DYSTONIA|
|Protocol for the Treatment of Dystonia
In this post we will outline the DIY (do it yourself) protocol that we have developed for the treatment of Cervical Dystonia. This protocol is the result of extensive study and integration of decades of previous research, experiments and practice of medical professionals, professors, dentists, orthodontists, technicians and parcticioners.
|Principles of Splint Therapy
In this post we outline the basic principles behind the protocol that we are developing for the treatment of Dystonia with splint therapy. The technique to build splints and register bites on them that we developed (and describe in detail in this post) can also be used by dentists as an easy and fast diagnostic tool to understand how a patient’s occlusion works before any prosthetic work.
In this post we will describe the appliance that can be used to unravel cranial distortions and collapse: the ALF. ALF is an acronym for Advanced Lightwire Functional Appliances. In this post we will describe the use and purpose of the ALF device based on the work of Dr. Nordstrom.
The foundamental instrument of this experimental method to treat Dystonia is based on the Rectifier, an intra-oral appliance (dental splint) that produces orthopedic forces that are engineered to move and modify the skeletal structure in order to recover vertical balance, symmetry and allignment of the structures that support the skull
|The Molar Lever
What is the relationship between teeth and body posture? How does dental occlusion affect the allignement of the spine? The shortest answer has two words: Molar Lever.
|Neurological Rehab for Dystonia
In this post we will describe a basic Eye Tracking Exercise that helps balance and rehabilitate the nervous system in case of Dystonia, scoliosis and postural collapse. Neurological Rehabilitation is one of the most important parts of the Protocol for the Treatment of Dystonia that we have developed.
|Treatment of TMD with the Molar Lever
In this post, we describe our understanding of how it is possible to treat Temporomandibular Joint Disfunction (TMD) with a splint therapy based on the principle of the Molar Lever
WHERE TO NEXT?
If your are a patient suffering from Dystonia, a medical professional, a researcher or a donor, the links below will help you navigate through the information on this blog.