Growth Modification

Growth of your jaws is an important consideration during your orthodontic treatment.  Much of your jaw growth is genetically determined, just like the colour of your eyes, or how tall you grow.  Functional appliances are a form of removable appliances or plates that may be required in growing children if the lower jaw is not growing as fast as the upper jaw.

Functional appliances aim to restrict the forward growth of the upper jaw, and can move the lower teeth forwards and the upper teeth back.  Specific patient selection criteria must be met in order for functional appliances to be used successfully.  Some important criteria that Dr. Skilton and Dr. Yap consider include i) the timing of treatment as it relates to your pubertal growth status, ii) the number of permanent (adult) and deciduous (baby) teeth in your mouth, iii) the presence of a history of jaw discrepancies in your family and iv) your motivation and compliance in wearing the appliance appropriately.

Functional appliances are designed to alter the arrangement of various muscle groups (such as forces from the tongue, lips, and cheeks) that influence the function and position of your jaws and teeth.  Most importantly, functional appliances require growth for their success.  Consequently, the more growth you experience during treatment, the greater the likelihood of success.

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