Functional appliances are used in growing patients to create a harmonious profile and a more attractive facial appearance. They may help avoid the need for surgical correction of the lower jaw position in later life.
When someone’s lower jaw is “ set-back” it can give the impression that their upper front teeth are too far forward and prominent. It may also be difficult to close the lips together.
Wearing a functional appliance during growth will encourage the lower jaw to move forward, reducing the apparent prominence of the upper front teeth and making it much easier to close the lips together.
Functional appliances work in growing patients so are ideally worn just before the adolescent growth spurt which occurs around 10 -12 years of age in girls and 11-13 in boys. But we are all different and the growth spurt can be earlier or later.
If you are concerned about your facial profile (side view), prominent upper front teeth, upper front teeth which are leaning backwards, or the position of your lower jaw an orthodontic consultation can help.
This varies and is usually around 12 months to see good results; a period of retention to maintain the improved jaw position is necessary. This can be with the same functional appliance or another design of removable brace. Many patients continue on to the fixed appliance stage of their orthodontic treatment straight after functional appliances have worked their magic! Fixed appliances align irregular teeth.
It will feel strange at first while your mouth, tongue and teeth get used to wearing rather bulky removable functional appliances. Learning to speak clearly when wearing your appliances is very important – it means you can wear your appliances for longer and speak with your friends normally.
There are no serious side effects and your orthodontist will discuss all risks with you before any appliances are fitted.
Dr Denise Taylor – Specialist in Orthodontics
BDS Lpool and Dorth RCS
Dr Denise Taylor is registered on the Specialist List in Orthodontics of the General Dental Council and is a member of the British Orthodontic Society, British Dental Association and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.
With wide experience in both hospital and practice orthodontic specialist clinics, Dr Taylor has considerable expertise in the use of modern orthodontic techniques. She treats both adults and children and loves seeing the improvements in appearance and confidence that beautifully aligned teeth bring. Denise is able to treat her patients using all contemporary orthodontic appliances and is a certified Incognito Lingual and Damon System specialist.
GDC Registration No. 50339