The ALF appliance stands for Advanced Lightwire Functional appliance. It is a custom-made appliance that acts as both a dental and osteopathic appliance. The ALF delivers light forces to encourage and guide optimal growth of the dental arches and jaws.
Designed by Dr Darick Nordstrom (DMD), the ALF appliance is the most gentle of all the orthopaedic appliances. It respects nature and when used properly, can unlock the body’s natural healing capacities. It does so by optimising the PRM, which I regard to be our most primitive motion that is preserved in the all-important craniosacral mechanism.
The ALF covers a very small amount of space in the mouth. The areas where the ALF presses against the mouth are the same pressure points as what the tongue would create if it were behaving optimally. Thus, the ALF actually mimics the tongue.
Those who understand how the jaws develop will know that the best orthodontist is actually the tongue. So to be able to mimic the tongue is quite a remarkable aspect about the ALF. For this reason, I refer to the ALF as a biomimetic appliance.
Even better, whilst the ALF is mimicking the tongue, it’s sleek design allows sufficient space for the tongue to inhabit the palate (roof of the mouth). So there is a double positive effect.
The result is a gentle, non-surgical and controlled jaw and mid-facial development. This improves the aesthetic appearance of our patients who may have asymmetries and imbalance in their facial development. It also improves the patency of the airway to improve one’s ability to breathe functionally.
I always work on the ALF with my cranial osteopath, Cole Clayton, beside me. This ensures that any forces I’m applying are being welcomed by the body. If the forces are strong/weak/perfect, the body will respond and this can be sensed by my osteopath when palpating your skull. Based on this feedback, I can make further adjustments to the ALF and check again. This way we can ensure that no adverse outcomes occur.
With this balanced approach, we are applying physiological force to the body, not mechanical force. That is a fundamental differentiator between our philosophy and other approaches.
Some of the benefits patients enjoy include:
Treatment success depends on your presenting condition, your compliance and your lifestyle.