1025 Vey Way • The Dalles, OR 97058 • 541.296.5766 • E-mail

Dennis Alleman, DMD, PC


There Has To Be A Better Way

Dr. Alleman is a general dentist who has had training in both conventional orthodontics and in functional jaw orthopedics. We believe that early diagnosis and guidance of growth and development can prevent or simplify treatment traditionally started later on.

After years of study and observation, Dr. Alleman has seen the benefits of early orthopedic guidance of facial growth allowing unobstructed and free development of strong, beautiful, and healthy faces.

Dr. Alleman has noticed that faces and smiles treated later on (after the permanent teeth are in), and primarily with braces, seemed to be harder to treat and had to wear braces for longer times. This was especially so when the teeth were crowded.

The traditional orthodontic treatment for crowded teeth has been to extract premolar teeth and then to retract the front teeth back into the extraction spaces. This is not only hard to do, but results in finished cases that relapse easily, and leave the patient with a "dished in" look due to the accentuated prominence of the nose and chin, as the teeth, lips and cheeks are retracted to fill in the premolar extraction sites.

Patients treated this way tend to look older than they should, and since the resulting bite is stress containing, many suffer complications with headaches and facial pain.

Dr. Alleman noticed that the traditional orthodontics he was trained with seemed to straighten the teeth but failed to improve the face!

Think about this -- Dr. Alleman doesn't want you or your family members to look old or to have headaches or relapse. There had to be a better way. And there is!

Treat the full face, not just the teeth-and start early. Functional Jaw orthopedics recognizes that early evaluation and guidance of the face and jaw development is usually easier to treat and results in the patient having to wear braces for shorter times if at all.

Functional Jaw Orthopedics encourages early detection and correction of airway and breathing problems in the infant. Then uses simple oral functional appliances to expand the patient's jaws and to improve airway and errant lip and tongue habits as needed. Once started, the patients seem to blossom outward to develop full and youthful faces. Since the expansion is forward and not retracted, they can breathe easier and have less bite strain with fewer headaches and complications. Often, that's all there is to it and the patient doesn't need the traditional braces or extractions. If necessary however, back teeth are extracted instead of premolars, and braces are only worn for a short time to align the teeth and finish the case.

Functional Jaw Orthopedics: a combination of multidisciplinary early orthopedic care, guidance of growth and development through the primary and mixed dentition and finishing with "braces" in the early adult dentition, is the better way for beautiful, lasting smiles.

How Does Orthodontic Care Work?

The best time to start orthodontic treatment is as early as possible. Your child will be evaluated for normal development at the first infant visit. Every child is different, but if problems are noted, orthodontic treatment could begin with a visit to your pediatrician or ENT physician for evaluation of allergies and airway issues.

If your child requires treatment, early intervention is best and can make a real difference. We see the best results with treatments that would be impossible once your child's face and jaw have fully developed.

It is important to note that about 80% of a child's facial development is complete by about age 8, and that there is a huge difference in the ease and effectiveness of orthopedic treatment in an 8 year old compared with a 12 year old.

Also, when started earlier, completion of treatment at a later age is much easier.

Usually during an initial examination, we will evaluate your child's facial growth, spacing between teeth, crowding, extra or missing teeth, bite and breathing. We will look for habits like tongue-thrusting or finger-sucking that can hinder growth and development. These problems can change tooth alignment as well as alter facial appearance.

Orthodontic treatment can bring your child's teeth, lips, and face into harmony. And we all know that a pleasing appearance and a beautiful smile give children-and adults-a big advantage in life!

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