Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Overbite Correction Using a Functional Appliance



In a growing patient with a significant overbite caused by a short lower jaw, a functional appliance can be used.  The appliance holds the lower jaw forward for 10-12 months until the teeth and jaws have adapted to the new, correct position.  Braces are worn in conjunction with the functional appliance and continue to be worn after the appliance is removed to finalize bite correction and tooth alignment.  This patient was treated for a total of  2 years and 5 months.

 
Before

 
After
 
 
Profile photographs below show improved facial balance resulting from functional appliance treatment and braces.  The Lower jaw is moved forward to correct the bite. 
 
Before

 
After
 
 
In the intra-oral photographs below, you can see that before treatment, the lower jaw is back.  The upper front teeth are flared forward and there is a space between the top teeth.  After treatment, the lower jaw has come forward and upper teeth angulations and spacing is corrected
 
Before
 
After
 
Before
 
After
 
 
Before
 
After


The X-rays show the relative position of the jaws and teeth before and after treatment.

Before
 
After


Cases such as this demonstrate why it is so critical to have children evaluated by an orthodontist at a fairly early age.  If this patient were not treated in her youth while she was still growing, this type of result could not be achieved.  Adults with this type of malocclusion require jaw surgery to reset the bones in order achieve similar results.