Evaluation of maxillary molar distalization with the distal jet: a comparison with other contemporary methods

Eugenio Bolla, Filippo Muratore, Aldo Carano, S Jay Bowman
Angle Orthodontist 2002, 72 (5): 481-94
Maxillary molar distalization is an increasingly popular option for the resolution of Class II malocclusions. This communication describes the effects of one particular molar distalizing appliance, the distal jet, in a sample of 20 consecutively treated and growing subjects (11 females, nine males; mean starting age of 13) and compares these effects with those of similar devices. Pre- and postdistalization cephalometric radiographs and dental models were analyzed to determine the dental and skeletal effects. The distal jet appliances were constructed using a biomechanical couple to direct the distalizing force to the level of the maxillary first molar's center of resistance. The distal jet was the only appliance used during the distalization phase of treatment. Examination of the cephalometric tracings demonstrated that the crowns of the maxillary first molars were distalized an average of 3.2 mm into a Class I molar relationship. In the process, the first molars were tipped distally an average of 3.1 degrees, however, the amount of tipping in each case was influenced by the state of eruption of the second molar. In subjects whose second molars had erupted only to the level of the apical third of the first molar roots, distal tipping was almost twice that seen when the second molar had completed their eruption. Anchorage loss measured at the first premolars averaged 1.3 mm, but the crowns tipped 3.1 degrees distally because of the design of the appliance. The maxillary incisors were proclined an average of 0.6 degrees with minimal effect on the mandibular plane angle and lower facial height. This study suggests that the distal jet appliance effectively moves the maxillary molars distally into a Class I molar relationship with minimal distal tipping, however, some loss of anchorage is to be expected during this process. The distal jet appliance compares favorably with other intraoral distalization devices and with mechanics featuring mandibular protraction for the resolution of patients with Class II, despite the fact that these types of mechanics address different jaws.

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