Once in awhile life reveals some of the secrets of creation. If we are observant and don’t fight the natural flow of our development we can realise the very best of what we are capable of.
For a good portion of the first 2 decades of my practice, I focused on adult cosmetic reconstructive dentistry. As I became more specialised in this field I unwittingly excluded children from my practice. It was only when I began to see more headache pain pattern syndromes and sleep breathing disorders common to our ageing population that my practice shifted back into balance.
Cranio-Facial pain often cannot be treated, only managed. When I asked my Prof. Steve Olmos of the University of Tennesse what could be done to cure my patients, he laughed and said: “Just go back in time and treat them as children.”
He meant it as a joke of course, but I took him seriously.
I started along the normal pathways, studied orthodontics gaining a fellowship in this field and started to treat teenagers with fixed braces to straighten their teeth. Though these children finished with nice big smiles, none of my teachers had any more answers than Prof. Olmos, so I kept searching.
As chance would have it I came across Prof. John Mew of the London School of Facial Orthotropics. When I read his papers on Orthotropic growth guidance his vision so intrigued me that I flew him over to teach in Melbourne and thus began my new journey.
Orthotropics is the discipline of developing correct growth in our children. When we grow well we develop room for all our facial structures. Room so our tongue and head muscles can relax. Room so our joints can lubricate. Room for air to pass cleanly down our throats. And of course, room for all our teeth to line up straight!
So here was the possibility of a real solution to our problems. I pressed forward into further studies, initially completing a residency programme with Dr Bill Hang the lead instructor of the North American Association of Facial Orthotropics.
My approach changed from just straightening teeth to helping children grow their jaws.
I discovered how much change was possible in facial development.
It wasn’t until I started practising Biobloc Orthotropics that I truly realised how significant a change was possible.
You see in Orthotropics the possibilities of what our children are capable of go well beyond our short-sighted views on what is possible.
It is not hard to be excited by what my kids are achieving over the years, so I’m back studying once again with Prof Mew and his son Dr Michael Mew in the UK. I’m completing my Diploma of Facial Orthotropics and looking forward to helping care for you and your children now and in the years to come, with the very best of what I have to offer.
Dr Simon Wong