Epigenetic orthodontics is face-focused orthodontics; as opposed to teeth-focused. This orthodontic philosophy focuses on growth and development as a key factor in successful orthodontic treatment. Epigenetic orthodontics utilizes growth and development to enhance facial aesthetics and prevent the need to extract bicuspid teeth in order to straighten the remaining teeth. With epigenetic orthodontics we can ALMOST ALWAYS avoid the amputation of healthy bicuspid teeth that are so essential to enhanced facial aesthetics as well as airway and TMJ health.
The most common orthodontic problem is overly crowded teeth. When teeth are overly crowded it means they do not have sufficient space to be properly aligned. There are only three possible solutions to straighten overly crowded teeth: 1. extract teeth, 2. slenderize teeth, or 3. create more space. Old-fashioned orthodontic treatment always leans towards extracting teeth because those who follow this antiquated philosophy do not believe that creating space is possible in a non-growing patient. Dr. Lockhart too was taught this erroneous concept when he was in dental school more than 25 years ago. He has since come to know, by first-hand experience treating hundreds of patients, that creating space is possible in non-growing patients (adults). He has used modern techniques to create space in non-growing patients up to 80+ years old. For a more thorough discussion about why creating space is far superior to extracting teeth refer to the discussion on “Arch Development”.
The philosophy of epigenetic orthodontics is that every human is born with a genetic potential that dictates how we will grow and what we will look like. Environmental factors (see “Arch Development”) can alter this genetic potential but that potential never goes away; it is engrained in our individual DNA code. Epigenetic orthodontics “kick starts” that dormant genetic potential to create the necessary space to properly align teeth. This is all accomplished comfortably with dental appliances. No surgery is required.
The benefits of epigenetic orthodontics over traditional extraction based orthodontics are numerous and so superior as to make extraction based orthodontics a non-factor in any discussion about what orthodontic technique is better.
If you are interested in straightening your teeth without extracting healthy teeth, and if you would like to have your teeth straightened by a doctor who understands the cause and effect of moving teeth on facial aesthetics as well as airway and TMJ health, please give Dr. Lockhart a call for a free consultation. (714) 838-0760.