Jaw Wiring To Treat Obesity
What Is Jaw Wiring?
Jaw wiring is not a bariatric operation. In fact, it is not even a surgical
procedure. But it is a possible treatment for obesity and compulsive eating.
Jaw wiring is performed in a dental chair, in less than 60 minutes, and
is painless thus requiring no anesthesia. The goal of this orthodontic
method of weight control is to prevent the consumption of solid food,
thus causing a drastic reduction in calorie intake. Once the required
weight loss is achieved, the wiring is removed and the patient is free
to eat normally. Unfortunately the success rate of jaw-wiring as a long
term method of achieving a normal weight is very low. Most patients have
not learned a new way of eating. So once the jaws are unwired, dieters
often revert to their previous diet habits and regain weight. In addition,
the fixed position of the teeth and jaw may make speech and movement difficult,
which patients might find distressing. Jaw wiring is not a main stream
therapy for weight reduction, although its lack of appeal may stem from
its out of date image, rather than lack of effectiveness as a weight loss
strategy. More common in the 70s and 80s, jaw wiring has now been overtaken
by bariatric surgical procedures such as gastric bypass or Lap Band®.
How Does Jaw Wiring Work?
Orthodontic jaw wiring is a method for treating compulsive overeating
and obesity. The jaw wiring apparatus comprises orthodontic brackets attached
to the teeth, with wire wrapped around or through the brackets. The brackets
and wires are arranged in such a way as to suspend the patients
lower jaw in a semi-closed, partially movable resting position. This permits
a moderate amount of physiologic jaw movement and relatively clear speech,
while preventing the eating of solid foods.
Jaw Wiring: A Type Of Compulsive Liquid
Orthodontic jaw wiring is, in effect, an
enforced liquid diet. Since liquid diets are generally very effective
at helping patients with severe clinical obesity to normalize their weight,
it follows that jaw wiring should be an effective weight loss treatment.
However, most low-calorie liquid diet plans achieve long term weight reduction
only when followed under medical or clinical supervision. Typically,
such a diet program includes counseling and instruction on healthy eating
and regular physical exercise, without which its long term efficacy is
doubtful. Which is why most orthodontists who practice jaw wiring state
that the long term success of the procedure is entirely dependent on patient
compliance with post-procedural dietary and exercise guidelines. Even
so, clinical trials with this weight loss therapy have shown excellent
Clinical Study Of Orthodontic Jaw Wiring
Jaw Wiring To Treat Obesity.
(Rodgers S, Burnet R, Goss A, Phillips P, Goldney R, Kimber C, Thomas
D, Harding P, Wise P)
17 patients with morbid obesity (averaging
100 percent above ideal weight) underwent a jaw wiring procedure. No
major complications were reported. Weight Loss Results: All patients
lost between 55 and 66 pounds in six months. This level of weight reduction
from jaw wiring is comparable with that of gastric bypass surgery. One
person achieved and maintained her ideal weight. Two-thirds of the patients,
however, regained some weight after the wires were removed. Conclusion:
orthodontic jaw wiring is a simple and effective procedure which can
be carried out in most hospitals, and has a place in an integrated approach
to obesity. (Source: Lancet 1977 Jun 11;1(8024):1221-2)
For more details about this weight loss
method, please visit: Jaw
Wiring To Reduce Obesity
Orthodontic Jaw Wiring is a safe
and relatively simple non-surgical procedure, and thus has
none of the health dangers associated with bariatric procedures
such as gastric bypass. For more information about this weight reduction
therapy, take a look at Ted
Rothstein, DDS, PhD.
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