Some people naturally have a naturally deficient upper jaw (maxilla). Their lower jaw protrudes further ahead from the upper jaw, severely affecting the aesthetics of the patient. Dentists prescribe protraction face masks for these patients only in the early stages of their lives.
What is Protraction Facemask Therapy?
A protraction facemask is a headgear that helps to create an extraoral force on the patient’s jaw, pulling it forward. At the same time, the headgear takes support from the patient’s chin and forehead to allow the force to act. This treatment is used for class III malocclusion, or the patient’s lower jaw (mandible) is forward, and the upper jaw (maxilla) is deficient.
This treatment is only prescribed at early ages since the form of treatment changes as the individual grows up. Our team will examine the patient and let them know if they qualify for the treatment or not.
Who is This Treatment For?
Protraction facemask therapy is exclusively prescribed to children below the age of 14. This is because the skull is still developing at this time of an individual’s life. With the application of external forces, class III malocclusion can be corrected without surgery or other painful treatments.
Once the child’s skull fully develops, these changes become very difficult to treat. Surgical intervention is often necessary; even when it is not, there is always a chance of relapse.
Essentially, the therapy allows for normalizing the intermaxillary relationship of the patient, allowing their jaw to grow normally so that they do not have any aesthetic or functional discrepancies to live with.
Protraction facemask therapy is most beneficial in children aged between four to seven years. Children in this age bracket can get significant results even when they wear the headgear for fewer hours a day. As for children between seven to 14 years of age, they need to wear the headgear for at least eight hours a day, and it takes a longer time to see significant improvement in their intermaxillary relationship.
What Are the Benefits of This Treatment?
Protraction facemask therapy is the best treatment for class III malocclusion, especially with severe retrognathism. This is because the child is in their developmental years, can adapt to wearing the headgear quickly, and prevent any permanent occlusal discrepancies from cementing in their skull.
Suppose severe class III malocclusion is not treated in its early stages. In that case, the treatment later in life will be much more difficult, especially because the patient might have to undergo orthognathic surgery.
As the child grows, they will have a normal intermaxillary relationship, their occlusal functions will be normal, and they will not struggle in their confidence because of aesthetic concerns either.
Get a Consultation Today
Retrognathism and class III malocclusion are relatively common occurrences that can severely hamper the patient’s quality of life. We can provide you with a proper consultation at All About Orthodontics and let you know if protraction therapy is what you need. Call us at 586-999-8818 to book an appointment.