Advanced Lightwire Function
Interdisciplinary Treatment for the Prevention of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
(Using ALF Appliance)
Interdisciplinary Patient Care
Producing positive treatment results for children and even adults suffering from OSA is often achieved through a collaborative “team” approach consisting of an orthodontist, pediatrician, an ENT specialist, an osteopath, and a myofunctional therapist.
Traditional Palatal Expander Devices
What is ALF (Advance Lightwire Functional) Appliance?
The ALF appliance creates consistently rewarding and positive results for patients. The ALF also uses a natural, continuous light force to open the sutures of the maxilla for comfortable lateral expansion and anterior protraction (without turning a key as with a palatal expander). It does not interfere with speech or proper tongue positioning. The ALF appliance creates a “naturally healthy” foundation of the maxilla for accurate mandibular positioning, enhanced airway space, and a sound bilateral TMJ relationship.
Treatment: Airway Protective Orthodontics
When indicated, I initiate orthodontic treatment devoted to improving airway space for patients of all ages, starting as young as 4 to 5 years old (facial skeletal structure of this age group reaches 60% of its development and 90% by age 12). This treatment encourages upward and forward tongue posturing which opens the airway for proper breathing, and reduces the potential for snoring and obstructive sleep disorder.
Why does Dr. Stoess-Allen prescribe the Advanced Lightwire Functional (ALF) Appliance?
“For all of the years I have been an orthodontist, I have followed the most naturalistic non-extraction treatment plans for my patients. I believe in initiating treatment, for those in need, at an early age (6-9 years) using mechanics to aid in natural growth and development of the skull, maxilla and mandible. As I was never comfortable using the heavy forces most often associated with most palatal expansion devices, I was fortunate to learn about the use of the ALF appliance from the creator himself, Dr. Darick Nordstrom.
The ALF appliance is one that uses a light continuous force to aid in opening the sutures of the maxilla for lateral expansion and also anterior protraction. Very versatile in design, it can be used to create bilateral or unilateral forces that are gentle to the underlying bones. It does not cross the mid-palatal suture and does not interfere with speech or proper tongue positioning. It helps to create a healthy foundation of the maxilla to ultimately allow for accurate mandibular positioning, enhanced airway space and a sound bilateral TMJ relationship.
Because the ALF appliance is virtually unobtrusive for the patient and has many positive benefits, it is the only expansion device that I will use in my orthodontic practice today. I use it, when indicated, for both children and adults very effectively.” – Dr. Janet Stoess-Allen