Fixing Your Head and Improving Your Smile After Braces and Having Teeth Pulled

Today we speak with Dr. Dean Howell, who specializes in correcting structural problems in the head. If you have chronic eye, ear, nose, throat, or neck issues, this information is for you. However, if you have had teeth pulled or braces, there is some interesting information for you as well!

In This Episode

Dean Howell Bio … 00:01:06
Conditions That Respond to Neurocranial Restructuring (NCR) … 00:08:32
NCR Treatment … 00:11:03
Dr. Ruscio’s Experience With NCR … 00:17:54
Orthodonture and Dental Health Impact on Cranial Structure … 00:19:40
Improving Your Smile … 00:30:28
Typical Time Commitment for NCR Treatment … 00:34:55
Episode Wrap-up … 00:37:44

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Dr. Michael Ruscio:Hi, everyone. Welcome to Dr. Ruscio Radio. Today, I am joined by Dr. Dean Howell, who’s going to talk about something we haven’t discussed much in the past, which is structural work, and maybe more specifically some structural work as it pertains to the head. So, Dean, thanks so much for being here.

Dr. Dean Howell: Well, thanks for having me on, Doc.

Dean Howell Bio

DrMR: So can you tell people a little bit about—you were giving me actually a fantastic iteration of what you do and kind of how you got into it before we started recording. But can you give people a little bit of your background and how you found your way into what you’re currently doing?

DrDH: Sure. So I’m one of the older doctors nowadays. But I grew up in antibiotic. And I was chronically ill growing up. All winter, I’d have bronchitis from antibiotics and systemic problems and skin rashes and all these horrible things. And then summers I would be well. And I was raised on a water ski lake. And so I was a water skier. And I would do slalom courses.

And I would crash repeatedly at high speeds and finally broke a water ski with my face. I really recommend you don’t do that. And then I also played football because I was a big guy. And they used to, in the old days, take your helmet and smash it down on the bridge of your nose. So they’d break my nose every season.

DrMR: Gee.

DrDH: Between that and breaking the water ski with my face, my right nostril didn’t work at all. And my nose was almost as small as my little finger. And then I—my father wanted me to be a dentist. He was a dentist. And I couldn’t handle the chemicals in the dental office. It would make me so sick because of my history of all the fungal problems.

So he said, “Well, do something that’s of service to people.” And I decided to become a naturopathic doctor because the medical doctors had experimented on me and failed. Nobody recognized that I had systemic fungal problems. And they kept treating with antibiotics and making me worse and worse.

So when I got into naturopathic medical school, I found out about endonasal therapies, which were therapies that went back to the 1930s where they would take a small balloon, slide it through the nose, into the top of the throat, and inflate it for about a second or so. And it would inflate initially in the nostril, then push its way into the top of the throat.

And when it did that, it would push the head bones out a little bit, especially the bones in the nose area so that you could breathe. I was really excited by that because I couldn’t breathe through my right nostril because I’d broken it with the water ski. And so I started learning that technique as part of my naturopathic training.

And then I opened a naturopathic family practice north of Seattle. Everett, Washington, is where it was. And what I found out was, when I was doing physical medicine techniques like the spinal work and cranial manipulation techniques including the endonasal therapies, they tended to be temporary.

Dr. Mike, you know about how you make jokes about how treatments don’t hold and we need superglue and staples and so forth because people kept reverting back to where they’d been before. And it just bothered the heck out of me that they wouldn’t hold their adjustments, because I knew I was treating their symptoms.

And I had cried when I got to say that I was going to treat the cause of people’s conditions. It was really moving to me. So here I am with these—so what I found out eventually was that after I treated people when they would stand up, they would be more wobbly. And I could kind of push them over more easily than I could before they started their treatment. So after treatment, they would feel better. They would have less pain so they could move better. But they would be less stable. And then they would come back a week or two or three later and say, “You need to do that again.” And then they would be more stable, but now they would hurt and have limited mobility.

I started thinking, “Well, what I need to try is to see if I can figure out a way to move them so that they feel better at the end and they’re a little more symmetrical and they have better movement and the pain is gone and that they’ll also be more stable. And my attempts at creating this ended up being called neurocranial restructuring, the NCR work that I do now. And now I can take sequential photographs or X-rays of people.

My students and I, we all get the same kind of results. And we can see the long-term, essentially permanent changes that we make in increments. So we would do four days of treatment. And you change some. And you stabilize. And we do four more days of treatment a month or two or three or six months later—do another four days of treatment. And we make you somewhat better than you were before. And it stabilizes there. So it’s almost like going up a stairway to do treatments instead of this going up and crashing and up and crashing, which is what was happening with the work I was doing before. And so anyhow, that became the big change.

Suddenly, we could accumulate change. And then we could see long-term changes in the skeleton. The person would get more symmetrical. And we could especially see changes in the skull because the little balloons going from your nose into the top of your throat push on the central bone in your head, which is the sphenoid bone. And the sphenoid bone goes—it makes up the two temples on each side of your forehead. And it also makes up part of the back of your eye socket.

And the body of the bone is behind your nose. And then just like a butterfly or bat, the wings are up in your temple area. And the trailing legs go into and touch your hard palate. Right on the back of your palate on each side, you’ll find a tender place. And that’s where you’re touching—where the sphenoid bone touches the palatine bone. And so we can move that bone in the center of the head. And so we change the overall symmetry of the head and the bone pattern. So we’ll move the cheekbones. We’ll reshape the nose. We’ll put the chin into the middle of the face, get the ears evened up.

And as that happens, we see the changes in the skeleton. And as that happens, the overall head shape changes. And it gets rounder. And the flat places and the ridges and the dents in the head go away. And as that happens, the brain is in a box that it fits in better and better. and the brain function improves, too.

So we work with depression and anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia. And we work with seizure disorders. And they all get better as we optimize the head shape because the brain fits better and better. So it’s really the outgrowth of the same concept that chiropractic philosophy has talked about with the spine, except that now we’re going to work with the other parts of the nervous system that are in your skull.

DrMR: Gotcha. Gotcha. No, I haven’t heard the word sphenoid bone for many years. But I do remember studying that quite intently. And it is quite an interesting bone because it’s just kind of—I don’t want to say floating there. But it’s kind of just right in the center of the skull. We typically think of the skull being this circular type structure and don’t really appreciate some of the fine bones that are in the middle of the head. So that was always one of the bones that I never kind of forgot after my schooling.

Conditions That Respond to Neurocranial Restructuring (NCR)

But one of the things I’d like to ask you to help orient people listening—if there is a good answer to this question—is there a certain type of presentation, a certain type of symptoms, that tend to lend themselves really well to what you do?

DrDH: Well, there’s a lot of conditions that are essentially mechanical problems that are treated as if they are disparate, really separate kinds of conditions. So let’s say we talk about the ears. Well, tinnitus often responds well to these treatments. And so do balance disorders. And certain kinds of deafness, the kind that the old books would call catarrh deafness, which means the Eustachian tubes don’t drain into the throat. And old, hardened mucus builds up behind the eardrums. And the eardrums don’t vibrate as well. So those respond.

We work with double vision and glaucoma for the eye problems. We work with chronic sinusitis, because we can change the position of the sinuses so that they drain more completely. So we can get rid of the chronic infections in the sinuses. Also when we work with the nose, we open up the nasal airway so we breathe better.

So we work with sleep apnea. Then as the temporal bones where the ears are get more and more into proper symmetrical position, then the TMJ functions smooth out. And the chin will move into the middle. And the mouth will level out. So I do a lot of work with dentists. Then we work with scoliosis and spinal problems because we can optimize the spinal shape. People’s lordotic and kyphotic curves normalize as we do these treatments. And then we work with the different brain disorders.

And they’re all mechanical, Michael. It’s really wonderful because we can treat a broad spectrum of conditions essentially with the same style of therapy with each person.

DrMR: Gotcha. Well, I certainly agree that if you have a system that’s dysfunctioning, it can cause a myriad of problems and other symptoms. And I’m sure the audience is quite attune to the approach that I take with the gut and how the gut can manifest as everything from a skin problem to a sleep problem to a digestive problem. So certainly, I see the plausibility of that, especially when we call the gut the second brain. You’re kind of working with the first brain.

DrDH: Exactly.

DrMR: So I certainly see some plausibility there.

NCR Treatment

What does this look like? If someone is trying to picture, “Okay, I come into the office. What do these therapies kind of look and feel like to help someone understand who maybe has never heard of this before.

DrDH: Okay. Well, first is that if you want to see a demonstration treatment, if you type in my name, D-E-A-N, Dean Howell, H-O-W-E-L-L, into YouTube, I think you’ll start pulling up some of my videos. And I have a demonstration video of typical treatment. So a typical treatment starts with a person lying facedown. On a massage table is good enough. And we work on them for five to 15 minutes with them facedown. And we do body work with three intentions. One is to even out the flow of energy in the body.

So we’ll work on kind of like acupuncture points and things. We also want to get the muscle spasms out of the picture so that we can see what the skeleton is like without muscular compensation. And we also want the person to become more parasympathetic because we’re trying to make the nervous system change. And when they’re sympathetic like running away from lions and tigers, which is where most Americans live most of their time now instead of only half their time or less—anyhow, when they’re in that sympathetic mode, it’s harder to get the nervous system to change.

So then after we’ve worked on that side facedown, we then have them lie on their back and do essentially the same procedure on their front, even working deeply into the belly to work with the muscles there, pushing up towards the diaphragm. And then external cranial manipulation techniques that I’ve developed to start making the head more symmetrical.

And when we exhaust that avenue—so by this time, if I’m working with a helper, it could be 20 to 25 minutes. If I’m by myself, it could be 30 to 40 minutes. Then I will use balance-oriented reflex tests when they’re standing, if they’re able to stand. Or I have alternate methods too if they’re not able to stand. And we use these reflex tests to decided how to position them on the table to allow the easiest cranial manipulation with the small balloons going through the nose into the top of their throat.

And the reflexes actually teach me which of the passageways that lead between your nose and your throat because there are three passageways on each nostril that, because of plates of bone called the turbinate bones or concha bones that subdivide your nostril, we have three passageways in each nostril that lead into the throat. And the fourth passageway in each side leads up to the olfactory pit, where our smelling can occur.

So one of those six passageways leading into the throat is selected each day. And we insert the balloon uninflated with lubricant into the top of the throat. And then when the patient is ready by holding their breath—and then we have wedges and pillows and things pushing them into kind of an exotic position that is making it easiest to move the sphenoid bone—then we inflate the balloon for about a second. When it pops into the top of the throat, we deflate it and remove it again.

And by that time, because I’ve open up that suture in the head, it’s rather like opening the lid on a jack in the box. And when you open the lid on a jack in the box, the way that the jack springs out is the tension in the spring, not how hard you turned the crank on the jack in the box. Similarly, when I do this technique, I need to use enough pressure to open some of your cranial sutures. And that’s all I have to do is open the sutures because the connective tissues like the meninges and other connective tissues inside your skull and outside your brain are twisted and distorted and gain tension rather like a spring does. And so when that joint or joints in your skull open, now the connective tissue can start to push out. And the bones start to shift.

And we’ll do this four days in a row. And you will, of course, make your fastest shifts immediately. But you will have slow shifts that will take about three weeks before they stop from the four days of treatment. And during that time, I need you to be more conservative in your activities because you’ll be especially sensitive. If you do have an accident or injury, the repercussions could be worse than usually because your structure is not stable at that point because we’re waiting for your structure to stabilize because we’re retraining you to have kind of like a new baseline for where your body wants to keep returning when you have minor things occur.

DrMR: Gotcha. Gotcha. And as you were saying that, I remember many years ago, I used to lecture with Dr. John Donofrio, who I know at one point was a president of the American Board of Chiropractic Neurology and was a very well-known chiropractor and did a lot of great neurological work. And I would lecture with him and do kind of a functional medicine section of a weekend seminar that he taught and had been teaching for many, many years. And one of the things that always just was remarkable—he could take people from the audience who had vertigo—and some people have positional vertigo where you put their head in a certain position, and they will fall over.

DrDH: Right.

DrMR: And so we’d have a few assistants up there who would catch the person from falling over. Dr. John would kind of do his assessment, figure out which of the—I believe he was trying to kind of recalibrate maybe otolithic membranes or otolithic fluid. But in any case, he would figure out the ideal position. He’d perform an adjustment. And then laser stimulation to the cranium to help recalibrate the neurology, I guess you could say. And then a few minutes later, they’d bring the person back up. And they would not be falling over in the position that they had been falling over before.

So within a couple minutes, he could enact enough change to essentially take away someone’s positional vertigo. Now, it would come back over time. But just seeing that—that was something that—maybe something I would have been a little bit skeptical of had someone just explained it to me. But having seen it and having seen it with different people in different cities numerous times, it’s pretty remarkable some of the impact we can have on neurology with positional adjustments being one of the many things you just went through with how your therapy looks. But that was something that always kind of stuck with me from my time lecturing with him.

DrDH: Sounds great.

Dr. Ruscio’s Experience With NCR

DrMR: Now, something that I’d like to ask you with my own kind of selfish curiosity—I’ve had someone attempt—back when I was in school, I had a buddy who was learning how to do that internal balloon—

DrDH: The endonasal therapy.

DrMR: Internal nasal—yeah. And he was trying to adjust me. And I would not cavitate. And he kept going and going. And then I got to a point where I said, “Oh, okay. You’re new at this. I’m not cavitating. You’re blowing up the balloon more and more. I’m not sure you really know what you’re doing. So I’m going to give you an open license to inflate this balloon until my head explodes,” which is kind of what it feels like.

DrDH: That’s true.

DrMR: Because literally you have a balloon in the center of your skull that’s inflating.

DrDH: Actually, you have a balloon that’s inflating in your nose. And our perception is that it’s the center of our head.

DrMR: Right. Right.

DrDH: But as soon as the balloon gets enough pressure to open up those turbinate bones, then it fires into the top of the throat.

DrMR: Gotcha. Gotcha.

DrDH: But it feels like your head is going to explode sometimes.

DrMR: Yeah. Yeah.

DrDH: It can’t actually. It’s not that way at all.

DrMR: Sure. And I wouldn’t—if it was someone that had been an experienced clinician, I would have been very okay with pushing through maybe a little bit of discomfort in my case. But this was a friend of mine who was a student who was just learning. And so I was a little bit more guarded.

DrDH: He was lucky. I tried to get medical students—my fellow classmates to let me do it. And they just started trying to avoid me for about a whole year. So that whole last year of medical school, nobody let me work on them.

DrMR: Yeah.

DrDH: I had to just work on myself.

DrMR: Oh, man. I guess I was a good friend then.

DrDH: Yes, you were.

Orthodonture and Dental Health Impact on Cranial Structure

DrMR: There were a couple questions and maybe hypotheses I formed in my head that accounted for that. And there’s maybe a little bit of a back story. It’s certainly not that I’m an expert in this area, but one of the things that I remember Weston A. Price always mentioning was that due to poor diet and potentially poor absorption of calcium amongst other things, our sphenoid bones tend not to develop as fully as they could or as they should.

And this can create a number of things. It can create a narrowing of the dental arch, which is potentially one of the reasons why we see so much crowding and need for braces and buckteeth because you have the same amount of teeth, but you don’t have a big enough arch for the teeth to fit into because the sphenoid bone is very impactful on helping keep the dental arch nice and wide and full. So that was one of his criticisms that that could be the case. I did have braces. And they pulled a couple teeth. I had braces. And I also—I’m almost ashamed to admit it. I had headgear when I was really young. That’s a device that is kind of pulling the dental arch back.

DrDH: Right. It’s trying to compress your skull.

DrMR: Yeah, exactly.

DrDH: Yeah.

DrMR: And so they remove some teeth. And they try to close down the gap. And that works cosmetically. But I always wondered what kind of deleterious impact that had on everything in the cranium. And I wonder if maybe because of that I had some adhesions forming in the skull. And that’s why it was hard for things to clear. So what are your thoughts on my hypothesis and anything else in that regard?

DrDH: First off is my guess is that you probably don’t have adhesions, I’m glad to say. But when you have your bicuspids pulled and they use the headgear and the braces to pull your face in tighter, that does make some of your sphenoid joints harder to move. They do get tighter. And worse than that is that your face, when you pull it back in, it compresses the front of your brain. And so now, I work with radical orthodontists. And I work together on cases because there are people who are feeling malaise and fatigue all the time and maybe even brain fog that have this because of the way their face has collapsed from extraction of teeth because this happens, not only when you pull bicuspids.

Of course, the same thing happens if you pull wisdom teeth or any others. Your face literally collapses a little bit. And this has been documented by dentists for hundreds of years as the pattern of collapsing of the face from pulling teeth. You might have even seen these funny posters of a man who has no teeth who takes his lower lip and can put it up over his nose. And it’s not because his facial skin grew more. It’s because his skeleton has collapsed so much that now he has that much slack skin.

So what we’re doing now is that we’re using orthodontia to expand adults even into their 60s. And then after we use an expansion device to widen their mouth, then we use braces to pull the roots of their teeth out more. And then to advance their head out, I have a device that’s called the Face Max, like maximizing the face—Face Max. And my initial prototype was a football helmet with a welded steel cage in the front. And then we made a retainer-style appliance. And then we used rubber bands. And we pulled the face forward five or 10 minutes a day. And that opens up the joints in the face.

And then especially when you’re—only when you’re parasympathetic, you grow new bone. And so my very first case, I brought him out 15 mm of new face in three years. That’s like two-thirds of an inch. And by that time, he had had his bicuspids pulled by a well-meaning orthodontist when he was 15. By the time he was 18, he was no longer able to play basketball. He was tallest kid in his high school in England. He was no longer able to play golf. And he flunked out of his first term at university. And he had been the smartest kid in his junior high, but he wasn’t able to memorize anymore. So then he found out about orthodontia for missing teeth.

And he saw a dentist there. And he couldn’t get his face out enough. So then he and the dentist convinced me to start coming to London to work. And I still go there two to four times a year to work with patients. And then I put him in a prototype of that initial helmet device. And as we pulled his face out, his pain in his neck and low back stopped. And then his brain started turning on. And so first off, he found out that he could walk far enough to play a round of golf without needing two or three days to recover. Then he started realizing he could memorize things. And now, he’s almost finished with dental school.

DrMR: Nice.

DrDH: So he just missed about seven years there in his late teenage and early 20s. So now instead of being almost 25 and getting out of dental school, he’ll get out of dental school, I think, at 32. But the point is that that was what can happen. When you have all that stuff and it collapses, your brain gets pinched. And then also when your face collapses, your head slides forward on your neck in order to stay balanced on top of your neck—

DrMR: That was my next question.

DrDH: because your head balances on top of your neck like a teeter-totter.

DrMR: Yep.

DrDH: And so when your face collapses from extracting teeth, your brain slides your head forward a few millimeters. And then you lose your neck curve. So when we told people with straight necks that they had whiplash syndrome, that was true. But the majority of people that we saw are that way because they had teeth extracted.

DrMR: Yeah, that was the next question I actually wanted to ask you and another thing that—I believe I first came across this concept from Paul Check, who is kind of a big name in exercise therapy, physiotherapy.

And I believe he was citing Weston A. Price when he mentioned that anything that compromises the nasal airway, which could be a small sphenoid or removal of teeth, will push the head forward in attempts to improve respiration. And I always wondered if many of my chiropractic counterparts who were obsessed with forward head posture were just treating the symptom rather than the cause, looking at how many people have had braces or could have small sphenoids. And it sounds like that’s something that you’re thinking is probably pretty right on.

DrDH: Yeah. Yeah, we’re now able to correct it routinely. But it’s just that it’s extremely radical. So I have one guy I work with in L.A. I have one guy I work with in Manhattan. And then I worked with John and Mike Mew because they will do some of these things too. And John Mew is 96 years old and still practices dentistry.

DrMR: Wow.

DrDH: But 50 years ago, he designed a device called the Bio Block, which was what he called—instead of an orthodontic device, he called it an orthotropic device because it triggered straighter growth of the face for children under age 12. So he would put six- and eight-year-olds in this device, teach them how to use their tongue properly to push up on their roof of their mouth and not onto their teeth. And between that and his Bio Block, their faces would develop wider so that they would have a wide enough space so that no teeth need to be extracted. And he wouldn’t need to use braces or appliances and things later in their life, because if he got them to grow enough, then they were fine.

And what John maintains—he argued against the Weston Price concept that it was all nutrition. He said it was nutritionally triggered. But the reason that people’s faces were so much smaller is because we don’t chew as much and we don’t chew as hard. And so he has gone all the way back and looked at cavemen mouths. And some of those people chewed so much that by the time they died—because they dig up their skulls—instead of their wisdom teeth being one wisdom tooth with four roots, their wisdom teeth would be so worn that there would be four little roots and there would be no tooth on top of it anymore.

DrMR: Wow.

DrDH: And they used to stone mill flours. So the corn—like you get it now, stone-ground corn.

DrMR: Sure. Good point.

DrDH: But when they grind it that way, the flour actually has small amounts of ground rock in it. And he says that was really important, that they were chew, chew, chew. And the food would be fibrous. And of course the grass-fed meat is leaner and not as soft as grain-finished meat.

Of course it’s much healthier because the fats—when you feed an animal too much grain, they fart a lot and then their fats are omega-6 instead of omega-3. So it’s not good to eat the commercially raised meats. But nonetheless, they’re more tender. And so between that and cooking food to exhaustion, things that we just didn’t have much grit and chewing in our diet. And he says that’s why our faces and mouths came out so much smaller. So I say, do both.

Get your kids in their Bio Blocks. Eat the low carbohydrate, more caveman-style diets—the Paleo-type diets. They’re the ones that work. You stop having so many diseases as soon as you get away from the dangerous carbohydrates. They’re the poisons that we’ve only been eating for like 10,000 years. And we’ve had 100 million years of protein and fibrous vegetables and roots and berries.

DrMR: Sure.

DrDH: And that’s what you’re into.

DrMR: Man, that’s interesting.

DrDH: I saw your website a little bit.

DrMR: Yeah.

DrDH: So I’m preaching to the choir when it comes to you about this.

DrMR: Certainly getting a healthy diet is only going to help many, many things. And that’s fascinating—the chewing hypothesis. I had never heard that. But I’ll have to, I guess pun intended, chew on that a little bit myself.

Improving Your Smile

One thing I always wondered about was—or once I learned some of this stuff we just went through, I always was a bit remiss. And I wish I could have gone back in time and had something to widen my dental arch and kind of fix the small arch rather than pulling the teeth and accommodating the arch to the teeth because one of the things that I wonder about is respiration.

But the other thing I’ve heard is that you have a better smile when the arch is bigger. And I’ve seen and heard of some people claiming—and again, I don’t know if this is just marketing or if you think there’s any validity to this, but I’d appreciate your professional opinion—that by opening up the arch and by fixing some of the nasal bones and even doing exercises to help retrain some of the facial muscles, one can improve their smile. Is that something that you have any experience with?

DrDH: Oh, definitely. In fact, just doing my work without even doing any dentistry, your smile will improve because I’ll bring your cheekbones out.

DrMR: Yeah.

DrDH: And I’ll stretch your skin tighter because, remember, skin is, in many ways, like fabric. It reminds me of curtains or tents, like old tents. When you put up an old tent, you’d have a tent pole. And then you’d have those stringy things, guide wires that would go out. And you’d have a military-style tent. And if you put it up right, it was all flat and smooth and perfect.

DrMR: Sure.

DrDH: But if you didn’t put it right or if the ground wasn’t level, there would be these wrinkles and creases in the tent. Well, you’ll see the same thing with people’s faces. After they’ve had their teeth pulled and after they’ve had falls and accidents and beatings and sports injuries, their cheekbones end up in funny positions. And then their skin isn’t stretched tightly. And the extra skin hangs in folds and creases. So I’m in my 60s. And people will sometimes think that I’m in my 40s only because I don’t have all the wrinkles like most people my age.

DrMR: Right. Right.

DrDH: And the reason I’ve had more of my treatments than anybody else is because I was trying to fix me because of all my teenage injuries.

DrMR: Right.

DrDH: But it’s made me wrinkle free. And when we pull people’s faces forward with the Face Max and we do the NCR and we do the orthodontia, their smiles are bigger. And when they smile, their teeth are more exposed because when your face is collapsed and you smile, you have all this extra skin. And you can’t get all of your teeth to expose because you don’t have enough muscles to pull them up that way.

DrMR: Sure.

DrDH: When I was a boy, I would watch TV with my father. And he would point at people and say, “There’s another guy with bad dental work. See when he smiles we only see his lower teeth?” That was because their teeth weren’t positioned in a way that stretched the skin to where you could see the upper teeth when they smiled.

DrMR: Yeah.

DrDH: And all that’s correctible stuff. And as I said, we correct these people in their 60s. So you are nowhere close to that age. So you are very correctible still. You just have to want to do it enough because it will take two to three years of treatments, not every day, but two or three years of treatments. And then we can restore your mouth to where it was originally intended to be, get your cheekbones out to where they should be, round out your eyes more, get rid of all the wrinkles there. You won’t have wrinkles across your forehead. We’ll put your chin in the middle. We’ll make your balance better. You’ll be able to jump higher. You’ll be stronger. You’ll be faster. You’ll be smarter. You’ll be more creative. These are all routine results when we decompress your brain and fix your skeleton.

DrMR: Well, it’s certainly something that I’ve noodled on and off over the years because certainly having two or four teeth pulled and the braces and the headgear, I certainly fit that profile, as I’m sure many people do. So it’s definitely something I’ve been thinking about on and off. And this discussion is definitely bringing some of those thoughts more to the forefront. So it takes a few years to do this therapy. But then what is—

DrDH: Well, I was talking about getting you all corrected so that your mouth would be re-expanded—

DrMR: Sure. Sure.

DrDH: And we’d put in the artificial teeth where your bicuspids used to be.

DrMR: Gotcha. Oh, yeah. Okay.

DrDH: Yeah.

DrMR: So I can see—yeah, I can see that taking a little while because you obviously can’t do that rapidly.

DrDH: No.

Typical Time Commitment for NCR Treatment

DrMR: But what would this look like for someone on maybe a week-to-week or a month-to-month basis just to help give the audience a better idea of what kind of commitment this is if this is something that they think they may want to engage in.

DrDH: Well, let’s say someone is having chronic sinusitis and they’re having nasal breathing difficulties. Or they have something simple to treat like migraines. So when people have migraines, they have a problem where their occipital bone, that’s the base of your head, sits at a tilt all the time. So what happens is the first bone in their neck, the one that we call the atlas because, remember, in Greek mythology, Atlas was this poor titan that was required to hold the earth up on his shoulders.

So the atlas bone, the first bone in our neck is there to hold up our head. And it slides different directions based on where the center of the mass of the skull is so that it can best hold up that big weight because it weighs, they say, eight to 12 pounds, just your head weight. And then when that atlas bone moves off to the side, it pulls on the spinal cord and brainstem. So everyone with chronic headaches and migraines has that kind of tilt. But not everybody with that tilt has migraines all the time.

So you can clean up your diet and stay away from your allergens, and you won’t have your migraines. But you’ll be waiting for the other shoe to drop and your migraines to come back until we fix your skull. And for that, we need four to eight four-day treatment series. And they can be as rapid as one treatment series a month. But most people will do six weeks, eight weeks, even 12 weeks between their four-day treatment series.

DrMR: Gotcha.

DrDH: And then they can gradually accumulate those changes. And they don’t slide back between treatments. So the space is more about how fast they want to get there and fitting the treatments into their schedule and their budget. And we get them corrected for those things. And those things are pretty rapid to get fixed. And then people can go for years. If they don’t have another head injury, they might not need to see me for years. I just had a guy look me up. And I hadn’t seen him for 14 years. And I saw him for headaches 14 years ago in Chicago. And then he’s moved out to Sacramento.

And he came to see me in Los Angeles last week. I said, “Your headaches came back? Did you fall?” He goes, “Well, my headaches haven’t come back yet. No, I’m driving Uber now. And my low back is so bad I came to you because nobody in Sacramento has been able to fix it.” But it was 14 years later.

DrMR: Not bad.

DrDH: Yeah.

Episode Wrap-up

DrMR: So do you have any kind of closing thoughts or ideas or concepts that you want to leave people with? And I want to ask you after where people can track you down and also maybe hook up with a holistic orthodontist. But any closing thoughts for people?

DrDH: Well, I want everyone to realize that if you’re having problems with your eyes, your ears, your nose, your sinuses, your jaw, or your brain, or even your neck, if the therapies you’re using aren’t working, it’s probably because you haven’t looked into the structure of those areas.

And you have to do that. And these people that do cranial sacral and osteopathic cranial manipulation might be able to give you relief. But unless they’re able to make their results last, it’ll be an ineffective therapy.

DrMR: Gotcha. Well said. Well said. And where can people, if they wanted to look into—maybe their kids need braces and they’re looking for a different option or something like that—where can someone get an opinion from an orthodontist that might be more expansive rather than contractive like we talked about?

DrDH: Well, one place I would look is an international website. And I would type in Bio Block, B-I-O-B-L-O-C-K.

DrMR: Gotcha.

DrDH: And that will be the site run by the Drs. Mew in London. But they have a worldwide listing of doctors that they have trained that know about working with kids between ages five and 10 to get them expanded out to where they don’t need to even have regular orthodontia.

DrMR: Great. Great.

DrDH: And then if they’re older and they’re teenagers and you’re thinking about orthodontia, then type in to find an orthodontist that doesn’t pull teeth because there’s a whole minority of orthodontists that refuse to pull teeth. But some of them will say except wisdom teeth. It’s just like, well, I don’t understand that. But at least they don’t pull the bicuspids.

DrMR: Right.

DrDH: And they don’t mess up their patients nearly as much.

DrMR: Gotcha. Gotcha. And then if people wanted to find out more from you or people that you’ve trained, where should they go for that?

DrDH: Well, the first place to find information about me is to type in D-R for doctor D-E-A-N Howell. So DrDeanHowell, H-O-W-E-L-L. And then a place to see people that follow my protocols carefully because I’ve trained close to 200 doctors over the last 20 years. And probably 180 of them don’t follow my protocols quite right.

So I don’t refer to the other 180. But if you can remember the term NCR—and it’s not national cash register; it’s neurocranial restructuring—look up for my students or find them right from my website,, because we also link to my doctors there.

DrMR: Gotcha. Perfect. All right. Well, this was actually a really interesting call. And I’m hoping people have gotten a lot out of it because this is something I think probably affects a lot more people than we come to discuss. But certainly, it seems like things like braces and teeth pulling are really common. And I’m wondering how many people listening to this might have some residual eye, ear, nose, throat, sinus, head, neck problems that could be remedied. So thank you for taking the time to help us better understand this issue.

DrDH: You’re welcome, Dr. Mike. Michael, I thank you for bringing me on the show.

DrMR: Absolutely.

DrDH: Hope to see some of the people out there. Come and see me.

DrMR: All right, doc. Thanks again. Have a good rest of your day.

DrDH: Okay. Thank you.

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18 thoughts on “Fixing Your Head and Improving Your Smile After Braces and Having Teeth Pulled

  1. This is very interesting–what Dr. Howell describes is so very much my experience, with years of orthodontia that may have resulted in lifelong headaches, TMJ problems, chronic sinus issues and later mild to moderate sleep apnea, plus the forward-head posture. Also, as an adult I had a severe impact to one side of my face (rafting accident on the Colorado River!) that caused minor concussion and cosmetic damage but definitely changed the symmetry of my face over time. I have also experienced the unfortunately transient effects of various kinds of physical therapy including craniosacral therapy. I will be looking into this treatment to see if it might be right for me, though it sounds kind of frightening.

  2. Hi, I am in Australia, and wondering if there are any practitioners here doing similar work to Dr Dean?

  3. This is very interesting–what Dr. Howell describes is so very much my experience, with years of orthodontia that may have resulted in lifelong headaches, TMJ problems, chronic sinus issues and later mild to moderate sleep apnea, plus the forward-head posture. Also, as an adult I had a severe impact to one side of my face (rafting accident on the Colorado River!) that caused minor concussion and cosmetic damage but definitely changed the symmetry of my face over time. I have also experienced the unfortunately transient effects of various kinds of physical therapy including craniosacral therapy. I will be looking into this treatment to see if it might be right for me, though it sounds kind of frightening.

  4. Very interesting information, thank you. I do have a question though, since pulling teeth is bad, what do you suggest if a tooth needs a crown or something like that? My husband had a terrible toothache a few years back and the dentist, of course, wanted to give him a root canal and a crown etc, but knowing the dangers of root canals and not wanting any metals permanently in his mouth, he chose to have the tooth pulled instead. So which is worse–what they do to teeth in order to keep them, or having them pulled? Of course best case scenario is having great natural, holistic doctors everywhere, but as you know…that is not often the case….

      1. There is no easy answer here! If you get a root canal you run the risk of developing cavitation so at the base (root) of the tooth, but the extraction of the tooth leads to facial bone collapse. I have bee developing face-pulling techniques to pull the facial bones out, correcting or preventing facial collapse. So you have to choose–face-pulling or possible bone infection. I will have face-pulling info online soon. It is a six-year project that I have remained mute about.

  5. Very interesting information, thank you. I do have a question though, since pulling teeth is bad, what do you suggest if a tooth needs a crown or something like that? My husband had a terrible toothache a few years back and the dentist, of course, wanted to give him a root canal and a crown etc, but knowing the dangers of root canals and not wanting any metals permanently in his mouth, he chose to have the tooth pulled instead. So which is worse–what they do to teeth in order to keep them, or having them pulled? Of course best case scenario is having great natural, holistic doctors everywhere, but as you know…that is not often the case….

      1. There is no easy answer here! If you get a root canal you run the risk of developing cavitation so at the base (root) of the tooth, but the extraction of the tooth leads to facial bone collapse. I have bee developing face-pulling techniques to pull the facial bones out, correcting or preventing facial collapse. So you have to choose–face-pulling or possible bone infection. I will have face-pulling info online soon. It is a six-year project that I have remained mute about.

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