ALF therapy (Advanced Light Force)
The only center in Southeast Asia/ India to provide this amazing ALF therapy.
For the first time in the Indian subcontinent, we are proud to introduce the wonderful component of ALF therapy.
What is ALF Therapy?
The Advanced Light Force dental appliance was developed by a dentist who asked a simple yet profound question: Why do some orthodontic techniques create a synergy with the body and others create obstacles to health and function? Dr. Darick Nordstrom developed the ALF appliance with the goal of improving the overall health, beauty and function for the patient while providing a simple, effective and easy to wear family of dental appliances.
WHY IS THE ALF SO UNIQUE?
USING NATURE TO GUIDE GROWTH
The Advanced Light Force appliance is an innovative integration of orthodontic, neurologic and orthopedic principles that are combined in a way to improve health, beauty and function. ALF Therapy is a paradigm shift in dentistry, orthodontics and healthcare in general. The goal of traditional orthodontics is to improve on the appearance and function of the teeth and smile. The goal of dental, facial and cranial orthopedics is to create an attractive, and functional environment for the teeth and smile as well as the bones and soft tissues of the face and head that surround the smile. The goal of ALF therapy is to improve overall wellness and function of the entire patient through a holistic approach to dental appliance therapy resulting in improvement of form and function for the mouth and smile. This results in the opportunity to truly improve health and beauty from the inside out. The subtle sensory input from the ALF provides a safe, consistent 24/7 input that mirrors effective orthopedic, orthodontic, osteopathic, and neurosensory regulation. Comprehensive ALF Therapy allows a return to a normal balanced system for the patient.
The ALF’s effects on the palate encourage proper tongue placement for normalized oral rest posture position which promotes corrective orofacial form and function. It facilitates both cranial nerve and autonomic circuit regulation, prompting a synthesis of cellular, biochemical, hormonal, neurological, and behavioural organization. As a result, the results of ALF therapy are often more stable and the effects are long-lasting.
From bite to brain to behaviour, the ALF promotes optimal form and function with mechanisms developed by nature and supported by science.
Utilizing principles of growth and development
The ALF appliance uses light forces to the teeth and gums delivered by an exceptionally advanced design. The ALF design is based on replicating the forces to the jaws and head that nature intended. This has been verified through years of feedback from osteopathic and chiropractic physicians who specialize in treating the highly sensitive system involving the subtle forces and influences involving the cranium and the neurological system that it surrounds.
The evolution of the family of ALF appliances has been continually refined throughout the years to their current elegant and effective designs developed by Dr. Darick Nordstrom.
As no two patients are the same – no two appliances are the same. ALF InterFACE providers are trained to select and modify the ALF dental appliances to the individual needs of their patients to take advantage of their strengths and help them overcome their weaknesses.
Comfort, functional and cosmetic advantages
The ALF is barely visible to observers, easy to wear and more hygienic to maintain than most other dental and orthodontic appliances.
The ALF is one of the very few dental appliances that provide adequate room for the tongue and is unique in its ability to encourage improved tongue function.
The tongue is nature’s best orthodontist and retainer. Without the development of an ideal swallow. adequate nasal breathing and balanced cranial function, we often see crowded teeth as well as crooked faces, necks and bodies. Nature intended for the tongue to continually support the roof of the mouth. However, if a child does not develop a mature swallow as a result of challenges in growth and development, they often struggle with optimal facial and neurological development.
The ALF provides an environment of gentle, functionally balanced support to the delicately interlocked bones of the head by providing a “fake it until you make it” opportunity for tongue and breathing function by enhancing the patient’s functional reflexive abilities. By providing an ideal opportunity for the patient to develop a fully functional swallow while creating more room in the mouth for the crowded tongue, the breath and swallow can better support the body’s delicate neurological system and craniofacial development.
The use of the ALF is known for creating an environment of enhanced neurological function and a more balanced facial appearance by harnessing the power of one of nature’s most powerful tools: the human tongue.
Basic Appliance design
ALF Therapy provides a unique and sophisticated approach to orthodontics and wellness
The ALF is comfortable, easy to clean and almost invisible to observers
ALF therapy is not a one size fits all approach to care
As each patient has different needs, the many ALF designs are intended to accommodate those needs. This design is commonly utilized to expand the lower jaw in children
This ALF design is commonly used for growth and development.
This design is one of many ALF appliance designs commonly used for trauma release. It is a common misconception that the ALF only has one design when in reality, it is based on principles and customized for the needs of the individual patient. The highly refined design has been praised for its effectiveness in providing gentle, constant support to the teeth and bones of the head This results in the functional and natural development of the upper jaw as well as providing an environment for the tongue to engage the appliance.
These improvements in the tongue and neurologic function often create an environment for balanced, functional and beautiful facial development as well as a whole-body healing opportunity, unlike any other dental appliance or therapy.
Sophisticated Orthodontics for the Growing Child
Even though the ALF appliance is an orthodontic appliance in that it moves teeth, it is so much more, especially for the child with abnormalities of facial growth and development.The ALF stimulates transverse bone growth, in much the same way as the chewing of solid and semi-solid foods in the developing child. Through its gentle and subtle pressure to the teeth, the ALF exerts a lateral force 24 hours a day and seven days a week to create effective orthopedic, orthodontic, osteopathic and neurosensory regulation. The tooth and gum nerve fibers interpret this lateral force as sensory input similar to chewing, input that spurs the creation of space through bone growth for the developing teeth and mouth in both children and adults. In essence, the ALF is functioning as a surrogate. It replaces and allows proper tongue function and gives stability to the cranio-facial complex. The ALF provides the support for the head and neck that the tongue has failed to provide due to the improper formation of adequate swallowing and chewing reflexes. As a result, the ALF functions as a neurophysiologic stimulus, as an orthopedic/orthodontic device and it encourages the tongue to assume a more normal rest posture position which provides many benefits to the patient.
WHO BENEFITS FROM ALF THERAPY?
Growth and Prevention: Age 0-7
The ALF is by design a growth and development appliance that mimics the ideal forces that are present in craniofacial development. The ALF family of appliances provide support to the cranial and neurological system while helping to train the tongue to be nature’s best orthodontist and retainer. The ALF gently repositions teeth to the location that complements the function of the entire body by using forces that the body recognizes as more natural than any other technique. As soon as a challenge to ideal growth is recognized, the ALF family of appliances can be utilized to complement and guide facial growth in a more favourable direction.
Remodel and redirect: Age 7-12
If the majority of facial growth has already occurred in a less than ideal environment before the age of 7, remodelling is needed to support a better result. Between the years of 7 and 12 active growth is still possible, even if it is less than 20% active growth potential remains in most children. After the age of 12, any orthodontic technique is primarily to repair the direction of growth that has already been completed. The unique design of the ALF can effectively restart growth due to the biologically and cranially friendly forces that awaken the growth potential of the patient. The gentle, vibratory forces of the ALF stimulate bone growth to support a stable, functional result of treatment.
Repair: Age 15 and up
In the event that damage has occurred as a result of injury, gentle consistent support is necessary to allow a more ideal healing environment for the patient. The ALF is ideally suited to create “midline awareness” for the neurologically challenged patient (eg, autism, traumatic brain injury), mobility in a rigid, damaged system (eg concussion or facial trauma) or create stability in an unstable environment. (patients with the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) and/or ligament laxity) . The ALF is also useful in treating patients who have experienced orthodontic relapse and wish to achieve a smile that is both beautiful and highly functional.
The truth is that we are never actually “done” growing as even after death our fingernails and hair continue to grow for almost 48 hours. However, facial growth is more difficult to reawaken after the age of 12. The ALF is uniquely suited through the use of light, vibratory forces to encourage active bone remodelling unlike other forms of orthodontic orthopedic therapies.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is a candidate for ALF therapy?
- Growing children who have crooked or crowded teeth, underbites, overbites, crossbites and an inability to breathe through their nose
- Adults with dental crowding, headaches, migraines, sleep-related breathing disorders and/or temporomandibular (jaw joint) disorders
- Anyone who has been assessed by an ALF trained physical therapist, osteopathic physician, chiropractor oral myologist, medical doctor, neurologist or another healthcare professional that has a professional opinion that the ALF appliance and trained ALF dentist could assist their therapies in helping the patient to reach their maximal medical and functional improvements
How much does ALF therapy cost?
Since ALF therapy is highly specific to the needs of the patient and the discretion of the provider, it is suggested that discussions related to cost and timing of treatment be directed to the provider of your choice. The needs of the patient are customized into the treatment plan.
ALF therapy is not usually not covered by dental insurance as it is not a traditional dental service. However, it is an investment that is invaluable to those who have experienced the many benefits of ALF therapy. Use of the ALF has the potential of not only saving money related to future healthcare costs but also achieving the benefits of a lifetime of enhanced health, beauty and function.
How is it different than other techniques?
The simple sophistication of the ALF design creates an environment for treatment success. The many years of research and development of the ALF have allowed for a natural evolution of the appliance based on principles but guided by experience. No other dental appliance has had as much careful observation by the osteopathic medical community. Other appliances often cannot deliver the benefits that the ALF can provide for the patient when done with proper training and careful consideration of the patient’s medical and neurological needs.
If the ALF is so great, why isn’t every dentist and orthodontist an ALF InterFACE provider?
People often fear what they do not understand. Regretfully, those who are not members of the ALF InterFACE Professional community might be critical of its use. However, with the sheer number of patients and parents who have witnessed these transformations, our hope is that those who have little or no experience will consider learning more about ALF therapy and the opportunities that are provided through its use. The simple yet profound truth is that the body is interconnected in ways that traditional medicine and dentistry do not currently fully understand. ALF InterFACE providers actively seek that truth while others often seek comfort in traditional techniques without exploring the benefits of the advancements made possible through the development of the ALF family of appliances and therapies.
Why there is such a demand for ALF therapy?
There are a growing number of parents and patients valuing providers who have become aligned with the paradigm shift that is centred on a more health conscious approach to healthcare. The traditional medical model of the use of pills and procedures is being challenged by the new trend of healthcare that is focusing on prevention and intervention while looking to nature for guidance. As a result of the ease of access to information through the internet and social media, people are taking charge of their healthcare decisions instead of depending on the system to direct and determine their care. The typical parents and patients seeking ALF therapy are highly educated, intelligent and caring individuals that want to a more natural approach to care with consideration of the entire person in the approach to treatment. The typical ALF InterFACE provider is aware that their scope of practice might be limited to the “FACE”, but the “Inter” connectedness of the human body is something that we respect and strive to influence in the most positive manner possible for the betterment of our patients. This elite group of healthcare professionals often exceed the boundaries of their professional comfort zone to be able to provide services that meet the needs and exceed the expectations of patients who look to them to provide services reflective of the future of healthcare. The amount of training and dedication required to provide ALF InterFACE services far exceeds the requirements of traditional dentistry. Training in osteopathy in the cranial field, oral myology, autonomic nervous system balance assessment, the physiology of breathing, orthodontic techniques, nutrition, neurological reflex testing along with other biometric assessments too numerous to list are only a portion of the highly advanced training and biometric assessments available to and utilized by the ALF InterFACE provider. We use our skills as dentists and our extensive training as dental physicians in the context of overall health to provide dental services that have an influence on the whole body.
The mouth-body-mind connection is directly under our influence as dental providers. ALF InterFACE dentists strive to use those influences to the benefit of our patients using Comprehensive ALF Therapy.
Why is Comprehensive ALF Therapy so important?
Providers who fail to receive ongoing training on treating their patients from a comprehensive approach often are not able to achieve the results needed for long-term success and stability. Receiving a comprehensive ALF Therapy Education offers unique solutions to treatment that limited training simply cannot offer.
Is the ALF helpful for patients with special needs?
The difference between function and dysfunction as well as illness and wellness can be as little as 3 letters and finding the right solution or as big as the discrepancy between what we thought we knew and what we have yet to learn. The most vulnerable of patients are most often the ones that receive the most benefit from the TEAM approach to ALF therapy. These patients often have the opportunity with the ALF to “catch up” with achieving their full potential that was not possible within the context of the realities of their limitations. Parents of children with compromised abilities seek ALF InterFACE practitioners based on the amazing successes that are reported with the use of the ALF and related therapies. However, if it is effective with the compromised, imagine the benefits to those who are considered “normal”. Children face many obstacles as they grow and develop into adults. Caring parents do whatever it takes to create the environment for their children to express their full potential. The ALF often allows the opportunity for the growing child to be the best version of themselves as it supports the development of a face that is interconnected with the body in ways that are often impossible with other therapies and orthodontic techniques
Why are there different training systems and methods for proving ALF services?
Many ALF providers have taken introductory courses by different instructors in the in various ideologies of ALF Therapy, but receiving a truly comprehensive ALF education is acheived through a lifetime of learning, consistent involvement in ALF study clubs and commitment to connecting with Dr. Nordstrom as he continually updates and refines the nuances of Comprehensive ALF therapy. The ALF InterFACE Academy provides this ongoing advanced education to the committed ALF therapist through our annual conference, ongoing study club meetings and our newly developed teaching modules available soon through www.alfinterface.academy
Dr. Nordstrom and the ALF InterFACE organization cannot endorse the quality of or level of training received by the providers listed on this or any other site nor do we take responsibility for the level of care that you receive from an ALF therapist. However, for easy reference, the providers that are active in our ALF community and have received ALF education from Dr. Nordstrom as well as from other instructors including the details of their training are provided on our provider listings at the last page of this website.
It is our hope that the provider listings will be helpful for the patient or parent searching for an ALF provider that best meets their needs based on not only the convenience of location but also the provider’s commitment to their ALF related ongoing education.
Authored By DR.Girish P.V – Orthodontist, Bangalore