Everything in the body is connected. That’s the central tenet of integrative orthodontics, which addresses chronic conditions while treating misaligned teeth and bad bites using a whole-body approach.

This is the short and sweet explanation, but what does it really mean? Here’s how integrative orthodontics changes lives and what the experience is like.  

How integrative orthodontics helps change lives

Orthodontics is a life-changing field. Having straight teeth and a beautiful smile is a huge confidence booster that can have a dramatic impact on a person’s personal and professional life.

Integrative orthodontics goes beyond traditional orthodontics to create even greater life-changing results. Because we look beyond the mouth, we can often address chronic pain or airway restrictions that have been holding a person back from living their best life.

The key to this is an approach that values the person as a whole and seeks to address the underlying cause, rather than simply address the symptoms and mask the pain.

The integrative orthodontics experience

Patients who come to the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Chicago and the Centre for Integrative Orthodontics frequently comment on how much more attention they receive from us. This is by design: we want to know everything that’s going on with each patient. Not just issues affecting the mouth, but pain elsewhere in the body, stress, and anything else that’s affecting their quality of life. We talk about their lifestyle, sleep habits, medical history, current issues, and much more.

Next, we do some testing. In addition to the standard intraoral exam, we also take photographs of the face as well as the full body, do muscle palpation, motor nerve reflex testing, joint vibration analysis, cone beam computed tomography, and more. By gathering all this information, we’re better able to make an accurate diagnosis which is key to creating an effective treatment plan.

For example, a patient may come in and tell us about ongoing pain in the shoulder, and we may discover that pain originates in the jaw. When the jaw is treated, the shoulder pain goes away. Integrative care takes time to look for these connections between the mouth and the body in order to alleviate chronic pain, and that’s one main way integrative orthodontics is different.

Another difference is that we may work with or refer out to other healthcare providers, such as a podiatrist, neurologist, myofunctional therapist, periodontist, or chiropractor, to treat a patient’s condition correctly. The goal is always to put the patient first and get them the care they need.

Living with chronic pain? Integrative orthodontics could be the answer

We’ve seen too many people needlessly suffer years of chronic pain. They never knew that their ongoing pain was due to a problem originating in the mouth and that orthodontic treatment could get rid of the pain for good.

If you’ve gotten used to living with chronic pain, and have never found the source of the pain despite consulting with medical experts, consider a visit to an integrative orthodontist. It could be the key to life-changing results.