I took some time to look through the literature cited on the “DNA Appliance” Web site. As a non-scientist, this is what I could glean from the articles:
– There are orthotics that can help change the alignment of the jaw and other structural parts of the head and face.
– These are most effective when used in children, when they can help “guide the growth” of the mouth and face.
– With children, you might be able make a case for an orthotic affecting gene expression over time, but I don’t have the expertise to know whether that’s a valid claim.
Suspicions are raised by the following:
I didn’t see anything in PubMed about somehow using or taking advantage of epigenetics for treating adult mouth and airway problems. If you read the Web site referenced above, you’ll notice carefully worded statements about the efficacy and nature of the treatment. Examples (the italics are mine):
“Dr. Singh believes that (his orthotics) are capable of modulating genetic pathways…”
“…appliances, which may invoke natural developmental processes…”
“…the human genome is implicated during…airway treatments…”
Dr. Singh wrote a textbook with a co-author that costs $294.00 and there is no indication of who published it or who, if anyone, reviewed it.
I also found something on a list of SMILE Foundation seminars. Dr. Singh is giving a lot of seminars on epigenetic orthodontics this year. Yes, the course is expensive, but please go to the bottom of the listing. This is copied straight from the Web site:
Dr. Dave Singh
Course Number: Singh1
Course Fee: $ 1995
Early Bird Fee: $ 1995
Early Bird Deadline: 11/20/2010
Additional Details: Staff: $195
*FREE DVD “Epigenetic Orthodontics in Adults” featuring Dr Jim Krumholtz and Dr Dave Singh
*FREE textbook “Epigenetic Orthodontics in Adults” by Dr Dave Singh and Dr Jim Krumholtz
*FREE Diagnostic support (first case)
*21 CE credits
*All lunches and refreshments
Advances in technology and molecular genetics have provided new approaches to orthodontic care in the 21st century. The aim of this course is to provide new perspectives on the provision of orthodontic care for both adults and children. One of the most important aspects of orthodontic treatment is diagnosis. This course will help improve your diagnostic skills to help identify and expand your practice of orthodontics. Specific topics will be discussed including the growth and development of the face. In addition, diagnostic clinical facial features will be highlighted with a view of mid facial development. These principles will be tied together under the new concept of ” Foundational correction which takes facial growth and genetics into account for stable functional corrections associated with craniofacial homeostasis.
The epigenetic orthodontic technique will:
1. Improve tooth alignment
2. Enhance facial esthetics
3. Decrease TMD issues
4. Correct obstructive sleep apnea.
Using this technique, treating 2 patients a month can increase your practice by $100,00 a year.
The boldface and italics are mine. I suspect there’s a typo and it should read $100,000 per year. That comes to more than $4,000 per month for each patient. I couldn’t find any other seminar that was so blatant about the cash involved.
This, of course, does not invalidate the concept of adult epigenetic orthodontics. It does add some fuel to the fire. Unsubstantiated claims (in the case of adults), plus a big dollar reward–make of that what you will. I’ll leave it there until I can find a medical professional to weigh in on this.