Growth modification is also referred to as Functional Orthopaedics or Dentofacial Orthopaedics. To put it simply, the term dentofacial orthopaedics means changing the size, shape and relationship of the jaws to create symmetry.

Orthopaedics will help permanent teeth grow into the right places, reducing or eliminating the need for extractions. For some patients, early treatment may prevent the need for surgical intervention in later life.

Early intervention with Orthopaedics will give the greatest chance of the best result and although patients are able to treated at any age, those with available growth may enjoy a substantial advantage.

Why choose Orthopaedics or Growth modificaiton?

Corrects small problems before they get bigger
Reduce or eliminate the need for extractions
Reduce or eliminate the need for surgery
Simplify and shorten treatment with orthodontic braces
Preserve or gain space for erupting permanent teeth
Increase stability of the final result
A more balanced bite and jaws

A smile to be proud of – what more can we say!

In most cases, correction can be accomplished with functional jaw orthopaedics, also known as FJO or functional orthodontics. By starting treatment early in life, we can work with nature to guide the teeth into the correct position. If not treated, this can cause overcrowding and crookedness of the teeth.

It can be noticeable whether treatment is suitable from facial profile and asymmetry. Misalignment of the bite can lead to disproportionate features or lack of facial harmony. This can be avoided if the development of the bite is guided with functional jaw orthopaedics.

Orthopaedic orthodontic treatment usually starts at a younger age than conventional orthodontics, helping the jaws develop to provide the space for your teeth to help keep teeth and gums in optimum health.

Orthopaedic or Growth modification treatment

The exact type of treatment and appliances required to correct the problem will depend upon the information gathered from the diagnosis during the initial consultation. However, orthopaedics will most commonly use the following types of appliances:

1. Development Appliances.

2. Functional Appliances.

Development appliances

These appliances are used during the first phase of orthopaedic treatment and are normally removable or fixed and are made of a plastic plate or metal skeleton with wires attached.
They will usually have a screw in the plate to develop the jaws, which is activated as prescribed: E.g., Expansion appliances.

Functional appliances

Functional appliances are used during the second phase of orthopaedic treatment if required. The type of functional appliance used will depend on the patient’s age and development.

They are designed to correct jaws that are growing improperly by working with the growth of the patient’s jaws and facial muscles.

Orthopaedics will often be combined with a final phase of orthodontic treatment and can also reduce the time required wearing orthodontic appliances.

In some cases, it may eliminate the need for orthodontic appliances as the permanent teeth are sometimes correctly aligned following orthopaedic therapy.

The functional appliances can be broadly be classified under

A) Class II correcting Functional appliances:
B) Class III correcting Functional appliances:

Watch how the increased overjet gets corrected with functional appliance treatments

A) Class II correcting Functional appliances:

These would help patients where the teeth are sticking forwards, or the lower jaw is behind compared to the upper in its position. Depending upon the age, there are certain appliances, which will work effectively at a given age. These can be further divided under the following:

Pre-adolescent functional appliances:
These are effective from the age of 8-12 yrs of age: Eg, Dynamax appliance.

Early adolescent functional appliance:
These are effective from the age of 12- 14 yrs of age. Eg, Clarke’s Twin block appliance. Dynamax appliance

Late adolescent functional appliances:
These are effective from the age of 14 –16+yrs of age. These are, most of the time, fixed type of functional appliances.
E.g., Advansync appliance, Herbst appliance, MARA appliance.

B) Class III correcting Functional appliances:

These would help in patients where the upper front teeth are behind the lower front teeth due to the upper jaw behind the lower jaw in terms of growth and position. These appliances are effective in the age group of 8-10+yrs of age. E.g., Reverse pull face mask with a palatal expander, Chin cup treatment.