Is ALF or Vivos DNA better for Forward Facial Growth?
The Case for the DNA Appliance
The Vivos DNA Appliance is better for adults suffering from TMJ pain, sleep apnea and UARS. Because the same people need growth of the jaws in all three dimensions and a lot of it. The ALF appliance cannot get forward growth of the lower jaw because it does not contain a bite plane. An appliance needs have a feature to control the bite or it cannot effectively move the lower jaw forward during anterior growth therapy. The ALF device usually grows much less bone than a DNA appliance. The Homeoblock appliance is a very similar device to the DNA appliance and it is worth exploring for those considering treatment.
The Case for the ALF Appliance
The ALF appliance is better than the DNA at promoting facial symmetry. The DNA can achieve facial symmetry, but it requires a very experienced provider who knows how to purposely adjust the appliance specifically to achieve balance of jaw and facial structure. The ALF works well for kids who have teeth crowding, cross bites and poor jaw development. The ALF results in considerable orthodontic movement of teeth. For that reason, the ALF usually requires braces to correct undesired tooth positions. That being said, there may be certain circumstances where both the ALF and DNA are suitable for kids and adults.
Anterior Growth Appliance Video
DNA or ALF Appliance
The DNA is a combination of a retainer, bite splint and palatal expander. The Vivos appliance at the end of therapy will dramatically improve or get rid of TMJ symptoms and sleep apnea. The DNA will create more space in the mouth and nasal passages for proper breathing and tongue position. The appliance will also create more dimension or height to the upper and lower jaw and correct a bad bite. The DNA is very tolerable for adults. It is a removable appliance that is only worn during the evening and night. Yes, you will not need to wear the appliance all day and you can take it out to eat and clean your teeth.
The DNA can better serve adults suffering from TMJ pain because the appliance allows the dentist to place the patient into a more stable bite position. The DNA is also removable and is only worn at night-time.
Vivos DNA vs ALF Appliance Comparison Video
How Does the ALF Appliance Work?
The ALF Appliance is a fixed appliance that stays in the mouth and is worn at all times (usually). The ALF also does not have the ability to put the patient into a new bite position (usually). The ALF is a pure expander and keeps the patient in their current bite during expansion. For the above reasons the ALF is a better appliance for kids who are growing and have a dynamic and changing bite, tongue and jaw position. Both are wonderful maxillary expansion appliances that can be used for kids and adults, but I make the above generalizations from years of case experience.
How Does the Vivos Appliance Work?
The DNA looks like a combination of a retainer, night guard and a palatal expander. Looks are not deceiving. The DNA is novel in that it can achieve jaw bone growth in an adult. The only other option for adults is surgery. The mouth will get wider and grow taller and more forward. The bite position can be improved and made more comfortable by adjusting the bite pads the same way a night guard is adjusted. The wire in the front can help to retain the front teeth and preserve the appearance and smile.
Many Adults with TMJ symptoms will get fast relief when they start wearing the DNA Appliance because the bite is balanced and the jaws are placed into a more comfortable open and forward position. The “balanced” position will take pressure off the TMJ jaw joints and allow a little more space for night time breathing. Over time the treatment will result in a permanent increase in size, space and balance in the jaws and facial bones. At the end of treatment, the Vivos appliance does not need to be worn anymore.
Better Facial Profile and Airway Health
The ALF Appliance is the Best Appliance for correcting tooth crowding and underdevelopment. The ALF along with functional forces such as the tongue, will create proper space for the tongue to fit in the mouth and in between the teeth.
When a child does not develop large enough jaws and mouth, the tongue will flop into the throat during deep sleep and cause sleep apnea and TMJ symptoms. Never pull teeth to correct tooth crowding problems.