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Associated Topics

Functional appliances do not seem to affect jawbone growth

Nikolaos Pandis DDS, MS, dr. med. dent


Systematic Review Author(s)

Marsico, E., Gatto, E., Burrascano, M., Matarese, G., Cordasco, G.

Summary Title

The effects of functional appliances on mandibular growth during mixed dentition are unlikely to be of clinical importance



Key terms

Orthodontic treatment is used to make teeth line up correctly. Braces are a kind of orthodontic treatment.

Braces are a common type of orthodontic treatment, but other appliances can be used to change the way teeth line up. Functional appliances, for example, are thought to promote growth of the jawbones in a way that would improve the alignment of teeth.

The authors wanted to know if functional appliances affected the growth of the lower jawbone, more than no treatment, in children who had both primary and permanent teeth. To answer that question, they evaluated the results of four studies, which involved 338 patients.

Authors’ findings
The authors analyzed the test results mathematically. They found that, on paper, there was a difference between the children treated with the functional appliances and those who did not receive any treatment. However, in practical terms, the additional growth detected with the appliance was so small, it likely would not be noticeable.

Compared to no treatment, use of functional appliances does not seem to result in additional growth of the lower jawbone in children who have both primary and permanent teeth. 


In children with both primary and permanent teeth, do functional appliances—a type of orthodontic appliance—affect growth of the lower jawbone compared to no treatment?


Compared to no treatment, functional appliances do not seem to affect growth of the lower jawbone more than would normally occur in children with both primary and permanent teeth.