Integrative orthodontics is not a well-known term, even inside the field of orthodontics. For that reason, we wanted to take time today to explain what it is, and why we believe it’s best for our patients.
A Holistic Approach to Patient Care
Integrative orthodontics is not a specialty, but a way of approaching patient care that takes into account the holistic nature of the body. Integrative orthodontics recognizes that health of the body can impact the health of the mouth and vice versa.
As integrative orthodontists, our job is to look beyond the problems that are immediately visible in the mouth. We want to know what’s happening with our patients and where they’re experiencing pain so that when we treat them, we’re not just fixing a cosmetic issue but truly addressing the underlying cause.
We also recognize when certain conditions need treatment from another healthcare provider such as a chiropractor, podiatrist, or orthopedic surgeon before we are able to properly treat problems with the teeth, bite, or jaw.
An Example of How Integrative Orthodontics Work
We once had a patient named Jamison who came to us experiencing pain throughout his body. Where was this pain coming from?
During a comprehensive evaluation, we discovered that an obstructed airway was the underlying cause. To keep the airway open, the body made multiple postural compensations, which led to pain throughout his body over time. His neck, shoulder, and hips were out of alignment and his upper jaw was shifted five millimeters to the left.
It was clear to us that orthodontic treatment was required to restore Jamison’s function and alleviate the pain, but it wouldn’t be enough, so we made referrals to other specialists. Treatment involved a special oral appliance from us that allowed for healthy cranial movement and normalized the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. He also visited a chiropractor specializing in craniopathy and was looking into treatment from an ENT for his deviated septum the last we heard.
How We Work
As you can see from the example above, the care we provide is not the typical treatment you’d expect from an orthodontist. By taking an integrative approach, we are able to assess and treat the patient as a whole to find connections between the mouth and the rest of the body that many orthodontists don’t even look for.
If you’re in the Chicago area, we would love for you to visit us at one of our two practices, the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Chicago and the Centre for Integrative Orthodontics. We emphasize communication with patients, and many of our patients remark on how much time we spend with them. It’s just the first step towards creating a treatment plan to make lasting changes that benefit oral and whole-body health.