The purpose of "Biomimetics" is to mimic what would happen to bones to help them grow naturally. We ask the question: what does a bone need to grow to its fullest potential? What stimulates a bone to take its proper, full-sized shape? We know that when the teeth are crooked, full bone growth has not happened. So biomimetic appliances try to make up for that deficiency and get bone growth back on track. Biomimetic techniques can be used for adults as well as children.
Farrel Bent Wire System (BWS)
Chris Farrell, the developer of the Myobrace system, uses this light wire expander to give the teeth and jaws a boost while wearing the Myobrace. It's gentle, doesn't show at all from the front, and give plenty of room for the tongue to learn to be on the palate. It is my favored appliance to use as an adjunct to Myobrace for 7years of age and up.
It is made of a .028 inch removable steel wire anchored to two silver bands on the back teeth. I remove it at each visit to change its shape and put it right back. It does its job in 4-6 months in most cases. It can be used on the upper or lower teeth as needed. Click the picture for more information.
Advanced Lightwire Functional (ALF)
Similar in function to the BWS, the ALF is a one-piece appliance that clips onto the teeth. Although it can be found in the literature as early as 1918 (Rogers), the developer of the most recent version, Darick Nordstrom, designed it to help grow the bones with by tuning into their natural growth rhythms.
The technique is best done in coordination with 1) a Cranial Osteopath who will make sure the sutures between the skull bones remain open and flexible, and 2) a Myofunctional Therapist who will make sure the muscles of the mouth and face promote good growth.
It is a very gentle technique and can be done at any age, but it is also done slowly and takes time.
I love using it for the 4-6 year old in conjunction with the Myobrace trainer. The appliance staying in 24/7 so there is no need for the child or parent to handle it. I do all the adjustments so there are no screws to turn. And it is gentle enough that the kids barely feel some tightness for a few minutes and then it fades away by the time they're out the door. In 12 months time, there is a significant difference in arch form, in tongue space and freedom for the lower jaw to catch up.
Adults like that the ALF doesn't show from the front. It's a good "invisible" technique.
The Crozat was developed at the same time the earliest fixed appliances (braces) were developed. Although braces became more popular, there is still quite a large following of Crozat practitioners the world over. These appliances are a hybrid of tooth moving and orthopedic. They are gentle and easy to wear for adults who want nothing to show and have lots of patience.
Daytime/Nighttime Appliance (DNA)
Developed by G.David Singh, this removable appliance is purported to tap into the genetic potential the jaw has for proper growth (epigenetics) thus allowing the body to do its best. While it does not accomplish as much as the Biobloc, practitioners that use this appliance are very satisfied with results, especially in adults who cannot use the Biobloc
Splint, Orthodontic, and Mandibular Appliance (SOMA)
Developed by Joseph Da Cruz of Australia, this appliance includes all the benefits of a TMJ splint, and orthodontic expander, and a mandibular (lower jaw) repositioning appliance. It is friendly to cranial rhythm, allows freedom for the jaw joint to find a comfortable home, gives plenty of room on the palate for the tongue, and helps the upper jaw widen. The appliance is generally worn for about 12 hours a day, so it is convenient for adults who don't want to have an appliance in during the work day. It is also a slow method where the screw is turned only as fast as the body will tolerate.