Treatments

Growth Modification

Growth Modification

Growth modification in orthodontics is an attempt to encourage the Upper and Lower jaws to grow in more ideal positions.  This is necessary when a patient has unbalanced growth between the jaws or a deficiency in jaw size. Below are some of the growth modification appliances used in our office:


Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE):  This appliance orthopedically widens the upper jaw by separating the mid-palatal suture, which causes bone growth.  This is often used to correct a crossbite and/or create space for erupting permanent teeth.  It is most successful in younger patients, who feel little to no discomfort during the expansion and subsequent bone growth.


Mandibular Anterior Positioning/ Herbst type appliance:  This appliance is attached to the permanent first molars on the upper and lower canines, and can be used in conjunction with braces to decrease the amount of time in treatment.  The Herbst appliance is usually used in a growing patient around the time they are reaching their adolescent growth spurt.


Headgear: This appliance is worn inside the house and also to bed every night.  It is used in patients who have unbalanced jaw growth, where the upper jaw is outgrowing the lower jaw.  The purpose of headgear is to slow down the forward growth of the upper jaw, which allows the lower jaw to catch up to the upper. Patients of any age are able to use headgear.


Face Mask: Like Headgear, this appliance is worn inside the house and also to bed every night. It is used in patients who have unbalanced jaw growth, where the lower jaw is outgrowing the upper jaw. The face mask is used in younger patients, as early as six years of age, because it is ineffective at advancing the upper jaw once the patient has reached puberty.