Now that I had a midline gap proving that I was getting lateral expansion, I needed to figure out how to achieve forward expansion. One of the main problems I want to correct with this whole process is the fact that I don’t have enough room for my tongue, and it’s primarily in the forward direction that I need more space.
I’m not sure what search engine acrobatics I performed this time around that I didn’t in previous years, but somehow, I discovered Dr. Brad Lockhart. While dentists and orthodontists across the country continue to claim that palate expansion (or in Dr. Lockhart’s words, “arch development”) in adults is impossible, he’s been developing adult arches successfully (and non-surgically) for over 20 years!
I am equal parts elated and infuriated at this realization.
He has info about arch development in adults on his website, and has also answered hundreds of patient questions on the RealSelf online forum. To be honest, that’s what really sold me on him and his expertise – it’s rare to see a healthcare professional be so generous with their time, and his answers are adamant that there’s a better way to do orthodontics.
Well, sir, sign me up!
What’s kinda funny is that he’s not even an orthodontist. He’s a dentist that learned these techniques because got so fed up with seeing his patients suffer due to outdated practices (that are nonetheless still used by basically every single orthodontist in existence).
At first I planned to ask if I could pay him for a phone or Skype consult, to get advice about how to move forward with my own treatment. But because you can’t properly analyze a bite over video, and because I REALLY want to do things right this time, I said “f*** it,” and booked a spontaneous two-day drip to Tustin, CA. (Praise be to frequent flier miles for making this a financially viable option.)
His receptionist seemed totally cool with my strange appointment request, which was essentially “hey, I’d like to fly across the country to have Dr. Lockhart make a detailed treatment plan for me that I can mostly implement with my local orthodontist and ideally never have to see him again in person.”
Needless to say, I am SUPER EXCITED to get an expert opinion from someone I actually trust. Like, far more excited than anyone should ever be for an orthodontist appointment. And the day has now arrived! I’ve written the last three posts while sitting in a Whole Foods near Tustin, CA. Tomorrow is my appointment, and hopefully this will mark the end of my current “blind leading the blind” relationship with my local ortho.