The goal of orthodontic treatment is to move the teeth into alignment. Not only do these treatments improve the appearance of the smile, but they can also help with the function of the teeth and jaw as well. Most of the time, braces or clear aligners (Invisalign) are used to gently move the teeth into position. In some cases, “functional appliances” are recommended to facilitate the treatment, especially in the case of serious bite problems.
What are Functional Appliances?
Functional appliances are designed to leverage the natural forces to help with the alignment of the bite. For example, jaw growth and muscular activity can be harnessed to adjust the bite. Instead of moving the position of the teeth, the appliances are used to reposition the lower jaw to help with the overall orientation.
Common functional appliances are designed to move the lower jaw forward or expand the room in the mouth. Sometimes, the appliances are fixed in the mouth (such as braces), which means they can’t be removed at your convenience. Other appliances work like a retainer and can be removed when needed.
Best Timing for Functional Appliances
Functional appliances are usually most effective when used during the developmental stages while the jaw is growing. For example, these tools are often used during the puberty years of childhood, so the treatment can be finished before jaw growth is complete. These appliances are often an integral part of interceptive orthodontics. Sometimes the appliances can be used in adulthood, depending on the circumstances.
Determine the right timing of your orthodontic treatment by scheduling a consultation with our experienced team at Advanced Orthodontics. Call today to schedule an appointment.
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