Is Homeoblock and DNA appliance for palate expansion legit? Here is what I think about these appliances after few years of palate expansion experience under my belt.
A lot of people seem to find these appliances when searching for adult palate expansion. Few readers have asked me what I thought about them so I decided to write up a review on it based on my current understanding of this subject. Keep in mind I did not use the Homeoblock or DNA appliance to expand my palate, so I’m not coming from first hand experience but I did expand my palate with the Biobloc stage 1 appliance and I expanded enough to create 4 space for bicuspids (reverse extraction case) in as little as 1 and half years. I was 24 years old.
The Homeoblock and DNA appliance are very similar so I will review them at the same time, the creator of these appliances Dr. Belfor and Dr. Singh used to work together so they are coming from same ideologies.
My intention is to give my readers a different perspective by providing my opinions.
I will be blunt.
If you feel what I write is wrong, then I welcome you to leave me a comment to challenge it.
What they claim
The above is a screenshot that is taken directly from the Homeoblock advertisement video, and DNA appliance ads use the similar language.
Honestly I think the Homeoblock & DNA appliance try to use a lot of impressive scientific words to try to create a brand image that this appliance is unlike any other palate expansion out there. I’m not really buying this “genome” and “epigenetic” stuff.
(I’ve done my fair share of research on these appliance when I was first beginning this process, and my personal opinion is that there isn’t much evidence that back up their claims)
From DNA appliance site “Epigenetic orthodontics uses a person’s natural genes to correct and straighten the teeth without the use of force brackets.”
Aren’t they just using an appliance to expand the palate?
Genes aren’t involved in the actual expansion of the palate, that is all induced by mechanical force of the appliance, yes the expansion of palate will cause certain changes to take place in other areas of the skull but again these changes are induced by mechanical forces not the genes. Speaking about genes only takes us away from what’s really at play here, that is:
Living bone is extremely susceptible to movement from weak force applied over long period of time.
That’s really what causes the change in the bone structure.
First point about unilateral bite block, orthodontists use bite planes to level a bite by intruding teeth, if patient has uneven bite.
But I would be wary of bite planes, bite planes itself does not intrude the teeth, it is the patient’s biting that intrude teeth, so bite plane will only work if the patient keeps their teeth together, and most patients do not that’s how they have issues in their mouth to begin with.
Instead of using bite planes, why not re-training your posture to keep your teeth together at rest and lips sealed and naturally even out the bite. But this is easier said than done. When you have lifelong habits & weak muscles.
Also watch you swallowing pattern. Look at the mirror and try to swallow, your lips, chin, and cheeks should remain completely passive and not move at all, there should be no outer movement that shows on the face during swallowing. Teeth should be together and you are to only using your tongue to create that suction to swallow, it’s this tongue force overtime that gives you a naturally wide palate like Julia Roberts. For most people with oral malocclusion issues will find this extremely awkward to do, indicating that you have tongue between the teeth swallow recruiting your lips,cheeks, mentalis muscles(muscle on your chin), which is part of the cause of your teeth / jaw issues. Personally for me, it was super awkward for me at first and I had to relearn to swallow properly for the first time in my life, and its still ongoing practice.
Above is a picture of the DNA appliance, a big concern I have with the DNA appliance is that the acrylic goes over your teeth. Not sure what is the purpose of this?
It looks bulky and uncomfortable to wear, you certainly can’t eat with it (while with Biobloc you can), & wonder how difficult speech will be?
This sort of bite plane all on top of your teeth will open your bite and prevent your teeth from fully closing, and the more you leave your jaws open the more the gonial angle will open up. (horizontal jaw -> more vertical inclined jaw)
Dr. John Mew is completely against bite planes, and apparently all research on bite planes shows that it does more harm then good.
Your teeth are naturally suppose to be in contact with one another, you do not want to disrupt this natural relationship. You want to encourage your lower jaw to grow forwards by keeping your jaw and teeth together all the time, the bite plane causes the lower jaw to swing back from this position.
Your lower jaw will adapt to the position you place it consistently. Do you want your lower jaw to adapt to being back in the face because of the bite plane?
I like this analogy, in any human relationship the more time you spend with someone the closer you become but the less time you spend with someone the further you become from that person. In much the same way…
Jaws that stay together grow together, jaws that remain apart grow apart.
Maybe because DNA appliance isn’t worn 24/7 it’s not that bad? not sure, this is going outside of my current knowledge base.
I believe the Arm Flaps could be used to tilt the front teeth forwards a bit and straighten some that are crooked.
But if you are trying to re-open extraction spaces, the Homeoblock will not be enough forward expansion to accomplish that.
DNA appliance does offer the forward expansion so you could potentially expand forward and create bicuspid space with it.
This is where we have the big clash of different schools of thought. Homeoblock and DNA appliance believes in slow expansion rate, which is .25 mm of expansion per week. Only worn at night.
While the Biobloc (Orthotropic Premise) is to do semi-rapid expansion rate, which is 1 mm per week. So you expand the appliance 1/8 of millimeter each day but the expansion device is worn 24/7 and you eat with them in, only taken out when brushing your teeth. (This is 4x the speed of expansion) They say research has been done to show that this rate is ideal for separating the suture.
Clasp your hands like the above picture this represents how your suture is like.
Biobloc as you expand 1/8 of a millimeter everyday, which is such a small amount each day that it doesn’t cause any discomfort to your gums while still releasing the suture. (Unlike RPE, where they expand you so fast that it becomes painful)
Now my Dr. told me to never take out the biobloc because I will lose all the progress I’ve gained in matter of hours. He told me a story of a girl that had some issue with the appliance and decided to not wear it all night long, by the time she was able to get to the Dr’s office she had lost months worth of expansion progress.
See what happens is everyday as the key is turned to expand 1/8 mm the suture slowly releases and comes apart very slightly and gently, but if you take out the appliance the suture begin to close back up. Almost like releasing a rubber band that goes back to its original shape. You can imagine this process by making the clasp with the hand and slowly taking your hand apart. Now semi-rapid expansion rate seems to be the rate in which the suture isn’t solidified but melts away, because you’re moving fast enough where the bone doesn’t have time to solidify in the suture so it stays loose.
After I was done expanding, I stopped expansion for like 1-2 months but with the appliance still in, to let the bone settle in at the suture to stabilize it a bit, and the appliance came out safely and now it was my tongue’s job to maintain that new expanded palate.
Rapid Palate Expansion which is 3-4 mm per week is too fast, thus you actually fracture the suture because blood tissue and bone tissue cannot keep up with this rate. The fracture cause scar tissue where bone is unable to form until cells remove the scar tissue first thus prolonging or worsening the process. RPE is an awful way of expansion, if you can even call it that.
With Homeobloc and DNA appliance you take out the appliance everyday, this is why they are only able to expand .25 mm per week, because every time the appliance is taken out that suture is closing back up again. Over 1 week I guess enough bone forms where it becomes stable enough to expand another .25 mm.
I talk to Kevin Courtois who has been using the biobloc and he is still no where near getting spaces for bicuspids yet, and he started using the appliance 1-2 years before I did.
Basically to do the same expansion I did with the Biobloc in 1 year, it will take 3-4 years using the Homeobloc or DNA appliance.
PS: I think patients using DNA appliance and Homeoblock will see better results if they train tongue posture when the appliance is out of the mouth during the day. Stress on raising the back of the tongue on the roof.
I was expanding at 1 mm a week for a while and then slowed down a little bit because we were getting some teeth tipping, so I do think the semi-rapid expansion rate is more suited to the kids. But Teeth Tipping wasn’t too bad and it was only the upper teeth, my orthodontist, Dr. Gibbs, wasn’t worried about it because his plan was to upright them later using the fixed brackets by forcing the roots to catch up, and so far I believe it has been working because I haven’t lost expansion and my teeth are still up righting. And getting the upper teeth out of the way allowed my lower jaw to come forwards. And I literally expand to the limit of where my lower jaw could expand. So it was fine in my case.
This will all be different per case and by the doctor, if you are looking to expand you generally want to avoid teeth tipping so perhaps its safer to go a bit slower than 1 mm per week, but I find .25 mm a week generally too slow.
Important to Chew a lot during expansion
What I didn’t know at the time was that chewing a lot prevents the teeth from tipping during expansion. Dr. Mike Mew makes his patients chew on plastic mouth piece 1 hour a day and noticed that the teeth were tipping way less and he was getting more expansion at the suture instead. All the force of chewing most likely causes more bone remodeling at the roots to take place as the body create new bone to try to support the teeth and strengthen it against the heavy stress of increased chewing forces, thus making the teeth strong enough to also resist the expanding appliance as well.
Since I started chewing a lot more, my orthodontist has noted that all my teeth are settling in nicely & helping to upright the teeth from slightly tipped position. Now if I was doing more chewing during expansion it would of made the process easier I believe.
The Tongue Space
To me both the DNA appliance and the Homeoblock take up too much tongue space and this is the #1 issue I have with these appliances.
The homeoblock acrylic sort of floats, and doesn’t touch the roof of the mouth so it takes up even more space for the tongue. The reason for this design is a bit dodgy for me. About it causing negative pressure at the suture causing bone remodeling, but I was able to expand without this mechanism.
If anything I think proper swallowing pattern by using the tongue on the roof of the mouth to create that negative pressure is more powerful at expanding the palate.
My Brief Experience with DNA appliance
Before I found Dr. Gibbs, I was looking to get the DNA appliance, but what I soon realized was that most offices offering DNA appliances are just dentists(not orthodontists) with poor understanding and Dr. Singh plans the whole treatment remotely. So every question or concern I had couldn’t be addressed right away because the dentist had to ask Dr. Singh first. And since the case I was doing was complicated it was completely out of the dentist’s expertise. After several months, Dr. Singh finally came back with my treatment plan which was to regain spaces for the upper bicuspids only and close the bite by using rubber bands. I didn’t agree with this plan since I wanted to regain the spaces in the lower as well so I declined and gave up on the DNA appliance.
DNA appliance and Homeoblock seems to be coming from completely different theories, they believe it is the genes that control tooth alignment. So this is why their site constantly talks about genome and DNA.
I believe there is ample evidence out there today that suggests its not the genes that cause teeth alignment but the muscles of the mouth, the most important being the tongue being up on the palate. Since DNA appliance and Homeoblock doesn’t take this into account, their appliance take up too much tongue space in the mouth.
I believe both Doctors must be aware of this by now, so when I was trying to get the DNA appliance they were going to teach me oral facial myology (Science of re-training oral muscles) along with it. Which tells me that Dr. Singh understands the value of tongue & lip posture. But then why are they still presenting opposing ideas on their site? Is it because they would have to re-brand their whole product and lose current business? I once saw Dr. Singh post advertisement stuff on the orthodontic Facebook page and he was challenged on some of the points he was presenting, instead of addressing those questions he dodged them and continued advertising. I was not too impressed by that.
You know I hesitate to post something like this, my intention is not to bash these treatments, but at the same time I feel I offer a lot more value by being honest and frank.
These appliances do offer beneficial treatment to people and many adults have gotten positive results with them. They are doing something still far better than traditional orthodontics that believe adult palate expansion isn’t even possible or shouldn’t be done.
We also have to be realistic here, maybe DNA appliance is the only option you have for palate expansion being offered in your area.
These appliance will address your teeth crowding concern by giving you expansion, and expansion will lead to increased air way and better facial aesthetics. As is the nature of palate expansion work.
So you are definitely moving in the right direction.
Now do I believe these effects are specific to these appliance only? certainly not.
Are they the best appliance to do this? my personal opinion is no, but then again do you really need the best of the best for palate expansion? I don’t think so.
Adult Palate Expansion isn’t rocket science. Your bones move with light pressure applied over long period of time. And that’s what the gist of these appliance provide in your mouth. An acrylic appliance that can expand can do the job granted you wear the damn thing. The speed of treatment may vary but as far as palate expansion there’s many path to Rome.
I just have issues with their confusing language that try to brand this notion that these results are only possible with their “new technology”.
All of these benefits you get are simply because you are expanding your palate. Not that these appliances are special and cause some genome or DNA to activate or something.
And for complete reverse extraction case in which you get 4 bicuspid spaces back, Dr. Singh of DNA appliance wasn’t capable of doing this. and Homeoblock as a design isn’t possible because there’s no way to expand forwards.
Appliance always necessary for expansion?
Proper oral posture can go a long way. It’s possible for the tongue to expand your palate, although this is only done through habit and posture change particularly the back of your tongue has to go on the roof. The paradox is if you have small palate and you had a lot of vertical growth meaning your jaw is back and down, adopting this posture will be very difficult. The tongue doesn’t have space in the palate, but I wouldn’t say its impossible.
So for slight expansion I think the tongue can go a long way, but if you need a lot of expansion, using an appliance may be the most direct path to get you on the up swing of things.
The path I took & most people take:
Physical Appliance to Move Structure -> Significant enough where you can adopt new posture -> new posture maintains the expansion once appliance comes out, and even begin to further improve structure overtime
So in short, if you’re on the path of palate expansion there are some options better than others, but as long as you are taking steps to head towards that directions you will be doing better and better and be pleasantly motivated by the positive results you see along the way.
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