Integrative Orthodontics
Integrative Dentofacial Orthopedics IDFO

The Acronym: The competitive Polynesian Va’a races at high speed:

Va'a 2

  • ■ an image of Dynamics within movement
  • ■ an image of accomplished Interdependence
  • ■ an image of Efficiency
  • ■ an image of Stability
  • ■ It is the image of an integrated system: each team member hold his/her role and complements the role of others.

If the integration is not perfect, the progress is slower, there are compensations between the activities of the different team members. Training can set up this efficient integration.

The Concept of INTEGRATIVE ORTHODONTICS or
INTEGRATIVE DENTOFACIAL ORTHOPEDICS (IDFO)

will aim to consider the face and cranium as a large integrated system in their forms and functions, and will orient the therapeutic procedure towards a functional treatment.

The therapist will try to take into consideration the largest number of anatomical structures within this system (bones, teeth, joints, muscles, tongue …) and the way all those are working (breathing, swallowing, speaking, laughing, etc.).

So, acting on this system will aim to develop it toward more efficiency.
Integration goes well beyond the face, for a given tooth-to-tooth relationship, even up to the general body posture (see the test below*). This way, we become aware of the fact that if we modify the dental system in an individual, effects can appear well beyond this system.

This optimal integration is often natural in a portion of the population. The main objective of the mouth doctor is to improve it as much as possible, on his/her level of action, in his/her patients, whatever their age.. In the young subject, as in the older subject, we will have a preventive action: prevent the development or raise the threshold of compensations for functional unbalances.

Therapeutic enforcement:
Neuro Occlusal Rehabilitation: NOR
The mouth doctor will act through the dental system, but aiming at a goal, not only cosmetic, but of global good health:

– getting a balanced and functional orofacial system

– removing any compensation within this system, due to dysfunctions and expressed through too much stress on an element of this system.

Anatomical elements in the mouth and face we will use for acting on the whole system, will be, directly: the dental arches; and, indirectly: bones, soft tissues, muscles, TMJs, cervical spine…
These elements maintain various and complementary local functions: ventilation, chewing, swallowing, lingual functions, relationships, under the complex control of the central nervous system. This way, these functions lead to the development of the anatomical structures, as there is a “form/function balance”, highlighted by numerous authors.

The clinical practice of NOR is special as it is a physiological functional treatment: it is as close as possible to the growth and stability conditions in a pathology-free subject.

In fine, the resulting “form – function” integration is a sign of efficiency and good health. This objective remains the same for adults and for younger ones.

However, the main benefit of an early treatment will be the – indirect- consideration of the extreme complexity of the system as a whole:

– will prevent delays in the growth of one element that would automatically induce some compensations. Spontaneous integration without any compensation will be much more easy.
– In contrast, the subject grows with his/her pathology and strengthens the compensations as time goes by. Care by the therapist will be less easy.

This change in the paradigm, toward a wider look a the dental health, means some networking with other professionals: family doctors, ENT specialists, physiotherapists, osteopaths, posturologists, allergologists.
This site can be a link between all these professionals.

*Let’s make a little test: from teeth to feet, there is a single step.

Standing shoeless, arms at your sides, gently close your mouth in order to have your teeth in slight contact.
Without moving, gently transfer your weight on your right leg: did you feel the contact between your teeth changing? The same is true with the left leg.

Conclusion: There is a link between the way we stand and tooth contacts: from the top down and the other way round. There will be a “harmony” or a “disharmony”.
The harmony of this balance can be “primary” or “secondary” if it is obtained through compensations between the elements of this balance.

Immediate thought: what are all those elements and what are the links between them?

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