Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Adult Palate Expansion, Part 2: A Brief Chat with Theodore Belfor, DDS

As a follow-up to my last post on palate expansion in adults, I decided to give Dr. Theodore Belfor a call to find out more about his Homeoblock palate-widening appliance, as well his background and interest in the subject of craniofacial changes.  What followed was a brief, yet fascinating chat that delved into many subjects.  Here's a bulleted summary our conversation.


  • The cost of the Homeoblock procedure: anywhere from $2600-6000, depending on your own personal facial structure, which can be evaluated at Dr. Belfor's clinic in New York through a catscan and 3d image analysis.  He tries to keep the cost of the Homeblock close to the popular teeth-straightening product, Invisalign 
  • Human de-volution: Dr. Belfor acknowledges that human beings have rapidly devolved in a very short amount of time -- i.e. the last 100 years.  While Darwin's theory of evolution recognizes changes in species over millenia, our rapid de-evolution is an indication that something we are doing externally is influences our physical deformities.  He suggests diet and pollution as main causes.  
  • Epigenetics: (This is the changing of genes through influences other than DNA -- i.e. facial deformities)  Dr. Belfor believes this is going to be the most important field in science in the 21st century as people come to realize that many of us are not expressing our genes fully and that we must find out why and do something about it.
  • Sudden infant death syndrome: Recently, Dr. Belfor spoke with a doctor in Australia who connects craniofacial deformities with sudden infant death syndrome.  With a lacking craniofacial development, the 9th (Glossopharyngeal) nerve in the head, which controls swallowing, gag reflex, and speech, could very well play a role in SIDs in that arterial blood flow to it may be be restricted, which could lead to a lack of signaling to baroreceptors, Belfor says.  Baroreceptors signal the central nervous system to regulate blood pressure levels and with their malfunction could lead to possible cardiac arrest.  (Hopefully I'm getting all of this right.)
  • Weston A. Price, DDS: Dr. Belfor is familiar with Nutrition and Physical Degeneration and says that Price's research is the basis for the realization of our physical deformities and, thus, influences any dental work (including his) that seeks to restore the facial structure of the human genetic blueprint.
Unfortunately, Dr. Belfor had to leave the conversation somewhat abruptly because he had patients to tend to, but I'm extremely grateful that he was willing to speak and share what he did for the ten minutes we were on the phone.  It seemed that if he was not busy, he would have talked to me for much longer, as he definitely has a passion for what he does and seems to enjoy very much sharing that passion with others -- even if they are some random blogger/independent health researcher like myself.  What a great guy!  If I was in the New York area, I would not hesitate to go in for a craniofacial evaluation.

32 comments:

PBelfor said...

Dea Ryan:
Your assessment, evualtion and dialogue about the Homeoblock appliance is extremely well thought out and communicated to your readers. We are pleased to be included in your very professional and incisive health-matters blog. You have done your readers a great service to improved well-being and holistic care.
Best regards,
Pamela Belfor, Director
OrthoSmile, Inc
www.FacialDevelopment.com
THE HOMEOBLOCK APPLIANCE

Glenn said...

Great post. Very interesting and informative!

trix said...

For those of us adults who only have 24 teeth left after braces, if we would get palette expansion won’t there be more space between our teeth? Would we then need to get some false teeth to fill in the space?

Thanks, Ryan, for these excellent articles. Several years ago, I went to a dentist trained by Huggins. He is the one who told me that my childhood orthodontist should have been shot for having my teeth pulled for braces….that I would look older earlier than otherwise. Now I always notice wide smiles full of teeth and feel a bit of envy of what I lost. I’ve always had a thin/narrow face with hardly any visible cheek bones.

Lucy

Ryan Koch @ Health Matters to Me said...

Lucy,

That's a really good question. I'm in a similar situation, having only 24 teeth left, and I'm not sure what happens with palate expansion in our case. I'll have to run that by Dr. Belfor.

Harper said...

I've really enjoyed this post and the last one - thanks!

Half Navajo said...

If you have only 24 teeth they usually open up the area where your tooth was pulled with expansion devices, usually the bicuspids being pulled for most people. When the space opens up where your teeth used to be, they usually use a bridge or implant to fill in the missing space where your tooth used to be. I would opt for the bridge replacement instead of the implant, because the implants uses titanium and some people might react bad to it... and who wants metal implanted in there body. This procedure will take extra time compared to people who haven't had teeth pulled from previous orthodontics. Mercola had to have this done, he had his bicuspids removed when he was younger. I am sure Dr. Belfor has a better explanation, but i hope this helps!

troy

trix said...

Thanks, Troy.




Lucy

Ryan Koch @ Health Matters to Me said...

Thanks for sharing that, Troy!

Here's what Dr. Belfor had to say about missing teeth in palatal expansion:

It depends on which teeth are remaining. What is significant is that this appliance is technically not a palatal expander. A palatal expander provides continuous pressure on the teeth and results in a wider dental arch The Homeoblock (TM) is a developmental appliance and results in remodeling of the maxilla through allometry which is a size and shape change, which is much more beneficial than just widening the dental arch. The developmental process enhances the airway for breathing, the function and balance of the jaw for jaw joint enhancement and the remodeling of the bone produces better facial symmetry and has anti-aging facial benefits.

Unfortunately each patient has to be evaluated individually to determine if they are candidates for treatment.

Best Regards,

Ted Belfor, DDS

Half Navajo said...

Hi,

Trix... you look very attractive now...

as long as there is breath, you can do anything you want!!!

troy

Lucy said...

Thanks, Ryan, for following up with that question. I've looked for a Homeoblock provider locally and found none.

Troy, it is just so clear when I see what I am missing that it is just a disappointment. There may be no going back, but it is interesting that there may be other solutions to undo some of the damage. Thanks for the complement.

If I follow through with treatment, it will have to be well thoughtout as I am on the older side of the people who tend to get this done. It is kind of difficult to justify the expense.

undertow said...

Hi Ryan,

Do you know if the Homeoblock can be used for lower dental arch correction? Would the tongue interfere with lower placement?

Wasn't able to find good info about lower correction on the FD site. My local Dentist is familiar with the product, but mentioned that it appears to be for upper only, and to fix the upper you need to do work on the lower arch as well; establish proper occlusion or bite.


Thanks!

undertow said...

I should note that I emailed Dr. Belfor awhile back, but no response so far. So was curious if you had insight on this Ryan.

Thanks again.

Ryan Koch @ Health Matters to Me said...

undertow,

Good question. I e-mailed Dr. Belfor and am awaiting his response. I'm pretty sure that the Homeoblock goes on the bottom palate as well as the top. If you look at some of the before and after pictures on the facial development website, you'll see that some folks have both their upper and lower palates widened and straightened.

Specifically, check out this page about 3/4 of the way down.

Ryan Koch @ Health Matters to Me said...

undertow,

An e-mail reply from Dr. Belfor confirmed that the Homeoblock is used for both upper and lower palates.

undertow said...

Thanks Ryan, I will bring this up with my Dentist. Hopefully he'll want to add this to his practice, I am very curious to try this out!

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Lisa E said...

Does anyone know if I can get this done in the Bay area, San Francisco. I dread the cost of flying to New York every time my Homeblock needs an adjustment....

Can I just ask a regular orthodontist to get me a Homeblock?

Ryan Koch @ Health Matters to Me said...

Lisa,

Check the Homeoblock website for a list of professionals that use this device. I'm sure there's one in your area.

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Razwell said...

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I hope you guys like it! I am trying to provide quality content the best I can.

Anonymous said...

Different appliances for same results are available.

I just turned 40 this year and have had the Damon Brackets / Archwire combo in for the past 4 months.
I also wanted the Homeoblock first because I've never had braces in my life, thought they're ugly and would drive me nuts and would just look silly on an old gal like me.

Boy, was a glad that I decided otherwise.
I am super happy with my Damon brackets and whatever archwires they've used so far. It's only been 4 months but the distance between my first pre-molars (left to right) has already increased by 3.5 mm !!!
And that's at the first pre-molars, surely the distance between my very last molars is even greater.

I've had an overjet, deep bite, gummy smile, malocclusion, crossbite and several crooked teeth on top of a narrow palate.
If you guys can't find a Homeoblock Orthodontist please consider other options to reshape / widen your dental arch. You usually don't need to look far to find someone qualified to do this. The Orthodontist has to work with functional appliances, specializes in braces...mine called himself a facial orthodontist. He is from a small town in the middle of southern Idaho and is familiar with the work of Weston A. Price. Who would've thought!
His office windows say "Braces R Us" and hundreds of adults drive by his place on a daily basis not realizing how close they are to improving their lives, sleep and overall feeling of well being. I was one of them.

Please, just open the phone book first and call every single orthodontist in your area before flying around the globe.

Remember it's Facial Orthodontists that work with functional appliances to reshape and widen dental arches. Don't be so hooked on the whole Homeoblock idea...when certain archwires can do the exact same thing. Don't be afraid of braces!

Ryan Koch @ Health Matters to Me said...

Anonymous Jan. 17th,

Thanks for bringing this up. I was not aware of Damon Braces and their success in changing the face and teeth in a similar way that the Homeoblock does until commenters like yourself brought it to the table. Damon Braces may even be the best option for folks wanting quicker and better results, especially for those with severe craniofacial problems. I researched this method and it seems very solid and not invasive at all! I may even try it if I'm not satisfied with the Homeoblock after a year or two.

I will write a post on Damon Braces soon to inform people of this option. Also, I intend to write or call Dr. Belfor and find out what the difference between the two is.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ryan

Thanks for your reply.

I've just finished the Book 'Cure Tooth Decay' and Ramiel mentions something rather important I haven't thought about.

Your Ideal Jaw Position And Enjoyment Of Life.

He says :"When all the back molars are touching comfortably, the body's nervous system is sent a constant signal of relaxation through the trigeminal nerve. Because of this nerve relaxation, a person with contacting molars in the comfortable, relaxed position ages more slowly, heals faster, has a positive outlook on life, and generally feels good."

He also mentions that 'clenching' in normal...we are supposed to put our teeth together, the lower jaw is designed to snap shut and be flush with the maxilla when relaxed and awake. That is why it's easier to close your mouth than it is to open. Now he mentioned some people simply don't have enough bone to make all teeth touch and only the height would need to be restored.

I don't see how the Homeoblock would correct the height since nothing is really hooked to a tooth, but only widens the dental arch.

You want to achieve that relaxation!

I am for sure bringing this up to my ortho next time I see him.
And yes, Damon seems to be the new hype because it allows movement through the bracket while other brackets don't and need to be adjusted more often, but all brackets would work the same. It's the archwire and the skill of the ortho and his knowledge of cranial bones, etc.. that's important.

Anonymous said...

Have you received feedback regarding a comparison between the Homeoblock and Damon Braces from Dr. Belfor? I am interested in the Homeoblock applicance, but have found little information on the web. I have reached out to Dr. Belfor and the contacts provided on the facial development site, but have not received a response. I have questions, but I'm not sure who to contact. I did contact a dentist who uses Homeoblock in his practice, but he too failed to respond to my messages. Please post an update as soon as it becomes available.

Thank You

Ryan Koch @ Health Matters to Me said...

I just sent an e-mail to Dr. Belfor about Homeoblock vs. Damon Braces the other day. I hope to hear from him soon. If you give his office a call, I'm sure you could speak with either him or his wife, Pamela.

Anonymous said...

Any comments on the difference between damon braces and homeoblock yet? thanks

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Jenny said...

I'm also wondering if you heard back from Dr Belfor on whether Damon braces are similar to homeoblock?

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