JOURNAL ARTICLE

Treatment response and long-term dentofacial adaptations to maxillary expansion and protraction

P W Ngan, U Hagg, C Yiu, S H Wei
Seminars in Orthodontics 1997, 3 (4): 255-64
9573887
The purpose of this article is to summarize the short-term and long-term results of the authors' clinical prospective study on the treatment of Class III malocclusion using the protraction facemask. An attempt is made to answer questions pertaining to this treatment modality. Twenty patients with skeletal Class III malocclusion were treated consecutively with maxillary expansion and a protraction facemask. A positive overjet was obtained in all cases after 6 to 9 months of treatment. These changes were contributed to by a forward movement of the maxilla, backward and downward rotation of the mandible, proclination of the maxillary incisors, and retroclination of the mandibular incisors. The molar relationship was overcorrected to Class I or Class II dental arch relationship. The overbite was reduced with a significant increase in lower facial height. The treatment was found to be stable 2 years after removal of the appliances. At the end of the 4-year observation period, 15 of the 20 patients maintained a positive overjet or an end-to-end incisal relationship. Patients who reverted back to a negative overjet were found to have excess horizontal mandibular growth that was not compensated by proclination of the maxillary incisors. A review of the literature showed that maxillary expansion in conjunction with protraction produced greater forward movement of the maxilla. Maxillary protraction with a 30 degrees forward and downward force applied at the canine region produced an acceptable clinical response. The reciprocal force from maxillary protraction transmitted to the temporomandibular joint did not increase masticatory muscle pain or activity. Significant soft tissue profile change can be expected with maxillary protraction including straightening of the facial profile and better lip competence and posture. However, one should anticipate individual variations in treatment response and subsequent growth changes. Treatment with the protraction facemask is most effective in Class III patients with a retrusive maxilla and a hypodivergent growth pattern. Treatment initiated at the time of initial eruption of the upper central incisors helps to maintain the anterior occlusion after treatment.

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