“I’ve never heard a dentist talk like that.”
It’s a phrase usually accompanied by looks of wonder and appreciation, at times with a component of skepticism but always while opening the mind to think holistically about health.
Dr. Rebecca A. Havel DDS, SC hears a variation of it often.
The reaction is in response to her determination to get to the root cause of a patient’s issues combined with her enthusiastic delivery of the knowledge she shares. It undoubtedly causes her to stand out among the dental community.
“Ever since I was little, I have been really focused on health and trying to figure out what one needs to do for the best health possible. I’ve done a lot of additional training and thinking outside the box. And I figured it out.”
“It” is her holistic approach to dentistry and addressing a multitude of painful symptoms related to airway and jaw issues that may be expressing themselves otherwise.
Symptoms include pain and tight muscles in the neck and back, headaches and numbing in the hands, sleep apnea, memory loss, anxiety, hypertension, depression and fatigue, and attention issues in both adults and children.
“Dental health has a major effect on the whole system, the relationship with the mouth to the body is what roots are to trees. If the rest of the body is not OK and you’re still emotionally and physically hurting, it doesn’t matter what we do with the teeth,” she says. “A lot of it has to do with having a proper diagnosis.”
Dr. Havel says she often sees patients who are losing hope and have resigned themselves to experiencing a low quality of life. She empathizes because she, too, began struggling with the common symptoms she hears about frequently.
“I feel better than I ever have,” she says. “I know other people can too. I meet so many people who have been through so much and they’ve had so much trauma. I just ask, ‘Do you want to get to the root cause and be done with this, and heal your body?’”
A Breathing Wellness Program for all ages
The significance of symmetry in jaw development, narrow arches and an underdeveloped jaw among other factors have been found to contribute to the symptoms leading up to a variety of health issues including, but not limited to: autoimmune diseases, sleep apnea, and heart related issues such as high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and ADHD.
Fellow holistic family dentist, Dr. Felix Liao’s book “Six-Foot Tiger, Three-Foot Cage: Take Charge of Your Health by Taking Charge of Your Mouth” captures the idea that the tongue’s size and placement creates jaw and airway restrictions. The tongue then becomes a “life-threatening tiger.”
Dr. Havel combines Dr. Liao’s methodology and an oral appliance called Vivos, created by Dr. Dave Singh (she trained under both doctors). The retainer-like mouthpiece (pictured at right) gradually develops and repositions the jaw and thus helps with opening the airway, producing restful sleep and addressing breathing concerns.
A narrow airway from an underdeveloped jaw and narrow arches results in starving your body of the necessary oxygen required to generate healthy new cell growth. The Vivos appliance can offer increased oxygen, enhancing your quality of life including more energy and a renewed sense of well-being.
Dr. Havel also provides laser therapy in the form of nonsurgical, noninvasive NightLase and SmileLase to assist in increasing the airway to promote better overall health.
“NightLase is warm heat that helps to shrink the tissue obstructing the airway,” Dr. Havel explains. “We have this fascia, connective tissue, that goes from the tongue all the way to the tip of the toes. I see people who have hip problems and knee problems and so much of it is from trauma in the mouth. This laser relaxes everything. It melts away the stress resulting in more restful sleep without snoring.”
SmileLase “delivers a very specific form of biologically safe coherent infra-red light through a specially designed handpiece… it does not involve physical touch with the patient, yet delivers a medical grade dose of healing energy through a thin fiber that transmits the light from the laser to the patient.”*
“With light therapy, I can get into the really deep tissue where the fascia is balled up and slowly release that,” Dr. Havel says. “It goes deeper into healing the body. It can help people with anxiety, depression, migraines and snoring.”
The fourth component of the Breathing Wellness Program, myofunctional therapy, consists of exercises of different movements of the tongue and facial structures. It corrects muscle imbalance, incorrect swallowing patterns, TMJ dysfunction and other obnoxious oral habits.
“When we talk about obnoxious oral habits, we’re talking about thumb sucking,” Dr. Havel explains. “The reason kids suck their thumbs or fingers is to get that pressure and sensation on the roof of their mouths where their tongue is supposed to be. It has a calming effect. By training the tongue to go there, they don’t have the need to put their fingers or thumb in their mouth.
“I’ve been doing the exercises and therapy myself and it just brings the whole breathing wellness program to another level of success.”
Dr. Havel says she sees the most success in patients who combine all four therapies: myofunctional therapy, NightLase, SmileLase and the Vivos appliance in conjunction with chiropractic care.
Treatment length varies, and largely depends on emotional and physical trauma from the patient’s past.
“I try to take as much of a life history as possible,” she explains. “I’m not just looking for physical trauma, I’m looking for emotional trauma. When we’re adults looking back at what happened to us as kids we might say ‘no big deal’ but it could have caused us to not develop properly.”
It also takes consistency. She urges people to understand that while the Breathing Wellness Program is magical, it is not a magic pill with instant gratification but rather gradual changes over time.
“I can change people’s lives,” Dr. Havel says. “If I tell a person this is going to work for them, it’s going to help get you to a better place. You’re more than likely going to get off of your medications and you’re going to feel better overall.”
What about your kids?
From sleep apnea to ear infections, parents discuss how Dr. Havel’s
Breathing Wellness Program has changed their children’s lives and health
“Caleb was diagnosed with sleep apnea in March 2019 when he was 3 years old. Because his tonsils and adenoids were not enlarged, there wasn’t much that the sleep doctor could do. They offered a nasal steroid and recommended some behavioral approaches (which we had already tried several times).
We learned about Dr. Havel through our chiropractor and scheduled a consultation. We left the consultation with hope when we didn’t realize that we even had any other options to help treat Caleb’s sleep apnea. Dr. Havel told us that he likely wouldn’t need braces in the future if we used the Vivos, so we decided that even if it didn’t work for the sleep apnea, we were helping prevent braces in the future.
Caleb started wearing the appliance just over a year ago. He started wearing it during the day, while watching TV, as Dr. Havel and her staff recommended. He was sleeping with it all night after a few weeks. He now enjoys wearing it, doesn’t argue with putting it in, and we often have to tell him that it’s time to take it out in the morning.
Prior to having the appliance, Caleb was tired constantly. He had night terrors and would frequently wake up in a tantrum and was very crabby! We felt like we tried everything to help with sleep. Currently, Caleb is sleeping much better. He falls asleep most nights within about 5 minutes after our bedtime routine; this used to take about an hour. He sleeps more soundly, is less restless in his sleep, and his breathing is quiet.
We feel like we have so much more freedom surrounding Caleb’s sleep. We have so much more flexibility now, knowing that he is getting more quality sleep at night and is more well rested during the day.”
“As a parent it can be frustrating when your child keeps getting the same illness over and over and all the doctor does is prescribe the same antibiotic each time to cure the illness. At some point, the antibiotic does not even do anything because the child becomes immune to it.
My son Carson who will be turning 10 soon has had ear infection after ear infection since he has been born. I luckily switched dentists about 2 years ago. I also switched Carson to the same dentist: Dr. Rebecca Havel. The first time I took him to her, Carson was at the ear doctor a few days prior and the doctor found fluid behind his ear again and we figured at some point soon he would have another ear infection and that tubes would be needed for the 5th time. After meeting with Dr. Havel, she recommended a natural way to help cure/prevent Carson’s ear infections from happening.
I had nothing to lose so I took her advice. After using the appliance Carson had fitted for him by Dr. Havel and going through some craniosacral therapy sessions and the SmileLase, the fluid went away and he has not had an ear infection in over 2 years.
If your child is prone to ear infections or any other related illness I would highly suggest Dr. Havel. There is nothing worse than seeing your child suffer over and over from the same infection and all doctors do is prescribe antibiotics for your child. There definitely are more natural ways to prevent the infections from happening and Dr. Havel is highly educated in those ways. Without question I believe what she did for Carson worked and he is much healthier because of it.” n
Dr. Havel’s mission is to provide excellent patient care utilizing state-of-the-art technology and deliver the highest quality of care to improve your overall health in the most noninvasive way.
1543 Park Place, Green Bay
Welcoming new patients of all ages
from infant to adult!