This revolutionary appliance is used to develop dental arches in children, teenagers and adults. Historically, dental arch development in adults was difficult because arch development appliances required 24/7 wear to be effective. With the DNA appliance, a patient can achieve outstanding results wearing the appliance only 12-17 hours per day. This means the patient no longer has to wear an appliance while at work or school to be effective. We recommend patients wear the appliance while sleeping and then either before and/or after work or school.
The DNA appliance is an adjustable appliance that is adjusted quickly and easily by the patient at home every 3-5 days. This is NOT rapid palatal expansion (RPE), this is slow, steady arch development. The average time needed to fully develop an adult dental arch is six months. A patient will normally be seen every four to six weeks in the dental office for a quick ten-minute exam to make minor adjustments to the appliance.
The appliance itself looks similar to a typical orthodontic retainer and is just as comfortable and easy to wear.
One of the most common questions I get from new patients seeking orthodontic treatment is, “My orthodontist says I have to pull four teeth before I can have braces, is that true? I don’t want to pull my teeth.” My response 99% of the time is you absolutely do NOT need to pull your teeth before you have braces. You quite possibly will need to enlarge your dental arches but that is done comfortably without surgery using a simple dental appliance. Not only will you have room to align your crooked teeth once the dental arches are fully developed but you will also see positive changes to your facial aesthetics, and you will have a healthier airway and a healthier TMJ.
The DNA appliance is used to help patients achieve their genetic potential; this is called epigenetic orthodontics. There are multiple environmental factors that can cause a patient to have underdeveloped dental arches; some of the most common causes are: thumb sucking, over use of a pacifier or baby bottle, allergies, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, mouth breathing, too soft diet, lack of breast feeding, etc.
When dental arches are underdeveloped, the teeth will not fit in the arch, and therefore erupt crowded, rotated, or even overlapping. Underdeveloped dental arches can also inhibit the natural growth of the lower jaw causing it to be in a retruded position. This retruded lower jaw adversely affects the TMJ and airway and exhibits a weak chin and a compromised facial profile. An underdeveloped upper dental arch will also cause a constriction of the nasal airway resulting in a compromised airway that can lead to sleep breathing disorders.
In the sequence of photos below, Dr. Lockhart was successfully able to develop the dental arches in this 34 year old male patient to their natural state, allowing Dr. Lockhart to then place braces over the teeth for straightening without having to extract any of the patient’s otherwise healthy teeth. The patient will now have a healthier TMJ, improved airway flow, and more attractive facial aesthetics than he otherwise would have had if teeth had been extracted before orthodontic treatment.
If you have any questions about this revolutionary appliance that develops dental arches while increasing facial aesthetics, please call our office for a free consultation: Riverton Office Phone Number 801-542-0267 or email Dr. Lockhart: [email protected].