In some cases, the treatment of choice may be an appliance other than braces, particularly for children needing early intervention treatment.
Functional appliances are devices used to correct a significant disharmony in the relationship between the upper and lower jaws. They work by influencing the growth and development of the jaw of a young patient. The most common use of a functional appliance is to encourage the forward growth of a retrusive or under-developed lower jaw. The functional appliance holds the lower jaw forward over a period of time, until the teeth, jaws, and joints have adapted and the desired jaw position has been obtained.
Functional appliances are generally removable and often called `plates’. There are a wide variety of both removable and fixed appliances to deal with many different types of orthodontic problems such as;
- Poor jaw development
- Deep or incorrect bite
- Excessive protrusion
- Cross bites
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