This treatment can prevent malocclusions (bad bites) from forming or correct existing ones. Though orthodontics can straighten teeth at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin jaw growth modification. Growth modification is best completed when the patient is still growing. We can take advantage of a child’s growing years by guiding proper jawbone formation using orthodontic appliances. Once the patient is an adult, surgery may be an option for correcting significant jaw misalignments.
The ideal time to start growth modification treatment varies from patient to patient. It is based on the stage of growth of the jaws and whether the jaw bones align in an underbite or an overbite.
When growth modification is utilized, a severe problem that would require surgery to fix at a later date can be fixed in a non-invasive and gentle way.
Headgear is often used to correct an excessive overbite. This is done by placing gentle pressure against the upper teeth and jaw, which would hold the teeth and upper jaw bone in position or help move the teeth and lower jaw bone into better positions. The severity of the problem determines the length of time headgear needs to be worn. The key to success with your headgear appliance is consistency. Headgear must be worn a certain number of hours per day.
The protraction face mask is a removable appliance for patients where the upper jaw is not growing fast enough, resulting in a crossbite or underbite. The device consists of a metal bar attached to pads on the forehead and chin with rubber bands hooked to the face mask and upper braces or a palatal expander to gradually move the upper jaw forward. Patient compliance is extremely important as the face mask must be worn a set number of hours per day to obtain the desired results. The face mask device is generally worn for approximately 12 months.
It is typically used when the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw or when the upper teeth are crowded or blocked out of the dental arch. By simply activating the expander through turning a screw in the center, with a special key we provide, gradual outward pressure is placed on the left and right halves of the upper jaw. This pressure causes an increased amount of bone to grow between the right and left halves of the jaw, ultimately resulting in an increased upper jaw bone width.
The Twin Block functional appliance is usually used to treat children who have an underdeveloped lower jaw. To ensure treatment progresses as planned, the appliance should be worn at all times. It should only be removed for cleaning. Patients should follow instructions carefully to ensure effective results are achieved in the least amount of time.