Growth-Modifying Appliances

Growth modification is necessary when the patient has unbalanced growth between the upper and lower jaws. This type of treatment can only be done for patients who are still growing. Below are some of the growth modification appliances frequently used in our office:

Headgear: This is a part-time appliance that is worn inside the house and to bed every night. It is used in patients who have unbalanced jaw growth with the upper jaw outgrowing the lower jaw. This appliance slows down the forward growth of the upper jaw and allows the lower jaw to catch up. This appliance is usually used in a growing patient around the time they are reaching their pre-pubertal growth spurt.

Twin Block: This is a full-time appliance that consists of an upper and lower retainer that fit together in a certain way to advance the lower jaw. This is a removable appliance and requires superior patient compliance with regard to wear instructions. This appliance is also used in patients who have unbalanced jaw growth with the upper jaw outgrowing the lower jaw. This appliance is usually used in a growing patient around the time they are reaching their pre-pubertal growth spurt.

Face Mask: This is a part-time appliance, like Headgear, that is also worn inside the house and to bed every night. This appliance is used in patients with unbalanced jaw growth with the lower jaw outgrowing the upper jaw. Unlike Headgear or the Twin Block appliance, the younger the patient is the better the orthopedic correction that can be made in the shortest amount of time. This appliance is ineffective at advancing the upper jaw once the patient has reached puberty.