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ALF Appliances & Biobloc Orthotropics, With Dr. Larry Pribyl, Center for TMJ & Sleep Apnea, Independence, Missouri

There are a series of orthdotnic appliances to help children with their airway problems.  Biobloc orthotropic appliances are designed to help promote growth and development for a healthier mandibular joint and for the airway, says Dr. Larry Pribyl, of the Center for TMJ & Sleep Apnea in Independence, Missouri.

This treatment can help realign the upper and lower jaws to improve a patient's airway, says Dr. Pribyl.  When a patient undergoes this treatment, it can decrease the chances of them developing obstructive sleep apnea when they get older and can eliminate or reduce their snoring.  The treatment can positively affect the size of the airway and it's "awesome when you talk about being the recipient of more air," Dr. Pribyl says.

The ALF appliance, or advanced lightwire functional appliance, is used for Dr. Pribyl's TMJ patients.  It provides subtle movement for either the maxillary or upper jaw, upper teeth, mandible and lower jaw, which can go a long way in reducing pain in his patients.  He says that while not everyone needs this type of appliance, when it is needed, it "presents itself as a real workhorse."  Dr. Pribyl says that the ALF appliance is a great appliance for adults and kids alike and for those who have headaches of TMJ origin or crowded dental arches or facial asymmetries, the ALF appliance is the appliance of choice in his office.  For adults who have chronic crowding later in life, the ALF appliance straightens out the imperfections in their teeth.

The biobloc appliance is most effective with children between the ages of 6 and 9, as this appliance depends on capturing the growth during this time period to give optimal results.  If you miss this period, you can still get results, just not as optimal as between the ages of 6 and 9, says Dr. Pribyl.  The main focus of using the biobloc for his TMJ patients is managing their pain, vs. promoting facial growth changes.

The ALF for kids between the ages of 4 and 12 does an exceptional job, according to Dr. Pribyl, as it's easy for the child to speak, eat and as it's functioning 24 hours a day, the results are fairly stable as far as the teeth not moving again later in life.  "ALF has proved to have a profound effect on patients of all ages in our practice," Dr. Pribyl says.

Dr. Larry Pribyl is a leading sleep expert with Sleep Better TV, providing online, on-demand, sleep breathing disorder videos, and is a dentist in Independence, Missouri with the Center for TMJ & Sleep Apnea.

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