Dr. Lauson is a traditionally trained specialist in orthodontics who came into the field because he wanted to straighten teeth and create beautiful smiles. The first years after specialty training, he practiced in Denver, Colorado, and performed orthodontics. Initially, he performed treatments like most of his colleagues, using primarily braces, where many cases needed extractions to straighten the teeth. However, after a few years in practice, he became aware of unexplained problems some of his previously treated patients were experiencing. Those problems included headaches, facial pain, and jaw joint pain. He wondered, “Could this have anything to do with what I did to straighten their teeth?” This was very upsetting to him because he not only didn’t know the answer to this question but he also was unaware of how to help these patients. More questions came up and he was now motivated to find answers to many questions he had.
He began a five-year voyage (averaging eighteen trips per year) traveling all over to professional seminars to find much-needed answers. He went to not only dental and orthodontic seminars but also to allied medical meetings, including the fields of otolaryngology, physical therapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, and even craniosacral therapy. He knew there was a connection between the various fields and was now finding many of the answers he sought. Things would never be the same, as he now realized that treatments he had been doing for patients were in many ways responsible for the negative side effects they were later experiencing.
Since being enlightened, Dr. Lauson has successfully treated thousands of patients with significant challenges. Answers are known of how to effectively treat these problems, and if they occur as part of orthodontic treatment, how to get them corrected during the treatment. But unfortunately, this is just not being done with today’s orthodontic education. These problems are widespread even today.
Several realizations have come to Dr. Lauson during this time:
- Traditional orthodontic training, which he and most other orthodontists originally received, concentrates primarily on “straightening the teeth” and does not seriously recognize that its treatment has a profound effect on the rest of the body.
- Braces can effectively straighten teeth, but they cannot effectively change bone structure that is either deficient or out of alignment. For this, special types of functional facial orthopedics can be valuable and can solve many skeletal problems without surgery.
- It is much easier, more cost effective, and more stable long term to prevent malocclusions (crooked teeth, overbites, and so on) from developing in the first place than to “wait to treat” until all the permanent teeth are coming in, as most traditional orthodontists do.
- By doing early evaluations on children from age 3 to make sure only positive oral habits are established, it is possible to stop malocclusion development in its tracks. Through New Early Orthodontics (NEO) treatment, beginning as early as age 4, emphasis is placed on ideal oral myofunction. This treatment, which emphasizes ideal habit training, includes a series of monthly sessions with a therapist.
This treatment is not well-known in the United States. NEO New Early Orthodontics has been established as a franchise to spread this treatment in clinics throughout the United States and Canada.