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To put it simply, the term maxillofacial orthopaedics means changing the size, shape and relationship of the jaws to create symmetry.
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.
Orthopaedics will help permanent teeth grow into the right places, reducing or eliminating the need for extractions and for some patients, early treatment may prevent the need for surgical intervention in later life.
The exact type of treatment and appliances required to correct the problem will depend upon the information gathered from the diagnosis during initial consultation. Orthopaedics will most commonly use the following types of appliances:
These types of appliances are used during the first phase of orthopaedic treatment and are normally removable and are made of a plastic plate or metal skeleton with wires attached.
They will usually have a screw in the plate to achieve the development of the jaws, which is activated as prescribed.
Functional appliances are used during the second phase of orthopaedic treatment if required. The type of functional appliance used will depend on the patients age and development.
They are designed to correct jaws that are growing improperly, by working with the growth of the patients 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 completely as the permanent teeth are sometimes correctly aligned following orthopaedic therapy.