This type of braces system is worn over upper and lower teeth at the same time. It is used to correct the way the upper and lower teeth fit together so that they are stable and function in a more harmonious way.
Situations in which this type of braces may be useful include:
- When a patient has very protruding upper or lower teeth
- To improve the way the back molar teeth fit together
- To improve facial profile so that the jaws look more aligned with each other
There are a variety of Functional Appliances each with specific actions.
If this is something that the orthodontist feels you will benefit from then you will be advised accordingly.
A functional or orthopaedic appliance is a brace that is worn on the upper and lower teeth at the same time in order to correct the bite, or in other words to correct the way upper and lower teeth fit over each other.
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At Elite Orthodontics
Here at Elite Orthodontics our orthodontists use functional braces to correct very protruding upper or lower front teeth, stop lower teeth biting into the gum of the roof of the mouth, improve the way back teeth bite together, or even improve your facial appearance so that the jaws look more aligned with each other when you look at the face in profile.
Functional braces only work in growing children and adolescents. Research is still being carried out to evaluate exactly how functional braces work. It is thought that functional braces deliver their effects through a combination of ways.
They may promote or modify growth of the jaws, adapt the soft tissues and muscles of the face to new positions, move whole groups of teeth at the same time or change the angulation of teeth. Diagnosis is made through a thorough examination of the bite and facial structures, and the orthodontist is also aided by making measurements on and analysing a cephalometric X-ray image.
Depending on the condition of the bite, functional brace treatment starts either at an early age when milk teeth are still present (age 7-10), or around the time of the pubertal growth spurt (age 11-14) when all or nearly all the milk teeth have been shed. Here at Elite Orthodontics, we are keen that orthopaedic issues are addressed early.
Apart from the aesthetic and functional benefits already mentioned, we know that addressing protruding teeth at an early age with functional braces reduces the risk of trauma and damage to these teeth significantly. Another added benefit is that functional braces have helped our orthodontists at Elite Orthodontics eliminate headgear from our practice!
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