What is the AGGA Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance?
The anterior growth guidance appliance is a wonderful appliance for forward growth, but it is not the best appliance for people who have temporomandibular joint dysfunction and sleep apnea symptoms. For people who have had braces and retraction, AGGA may be part of the answer to correct poor facial profile.
Problems with the AGGA Device
The biggest problems with the AGGA is the apparatus is fixed permanently into the mouth and can only be removed by the dentist. It has a tendency to be more difficult to eat with and clean. The device also does not promote any vertical or transverse (width) bone growth. The AGGA device is frequently used by doctors associated with the LVI cosmetic dental academy and is very expensive. Finally forward growth is only one piece to the puzzle. Additional orthodontic treatments such as braces and other expanders are usually necessary after AGGA treatment to optimize the bite and align teeth. The cost of braces and other appliances should be understood prior to getting into treatment with the AGGA.
AGGA is not FDA Cleared
And it does not have a very long proven track record, if a track record at all. Many dental professionals do not believe it grows bone the way Dr. Steve Galella, the inventor of the appliance, claims. Most professionals in the TMD and dental sleep apnea community believe it does work, but not necessarily the way Dr. Galella claims.
How Does the AGGA Grow the Jaw Bones Forward?
According to Dr. Galella, the Anterior Growth device stimulates a exact spot on the palate that triggers the
body’s own built-in bone-building response. Specifically, the frame of the growth apparatus presses a nerve located on the roof of the mouth. The pressure supposedly sets in motion a rapid bone growing event throughout the entire cranial-facial region. Dr. Galella also invented the Controlled Arch System. His main focus is on facial beauty and facial growth modification. Dr Galella is the director of the Facial Beauty Institute and is one of the founders of OrthoMatrix Corp.
There are many different kinds of expanders for kids to help prevent problems in adulthood.
Is the AGGA the Best Way to Get Anterior Facial Growth?
No. It is a great tool and can be a part of anterior growth. But the AGGA is not a comprehensive stand-alone therapy for forward facial growth. The AGGA needs to be used a one appliance in a series of treatments to achieve facial growth. This can be explained by the fact that faces grow in three dimensions and not just forward. There is also the issue of teeth positions and how they look. Anterior facial growth cannot happen without also managing the changes in the other dimensions and the teeth that fit into the jaw structures. Obviously if bone is growing forward the teeth in the bones are going to change. And what about the lower teeth? The AGGA connects to the upper jaw. Obviously, something needs to be done to manage the relationship between the upper and lower jaws and how the teeth come together. The DNA appliance is the only appliance capable of managing forward growth, the bite and bone growth in the other dimensions. The DNA also does a decent job of managing teeth positions as well. The DNA may not be as good at forward growth as the AGGA. But the DNA is just about as good. Other considerable facial growth appliances do exist such as the Homeoblock. The Homeoblock also is a removable appliance that integrates a bite plane.
Forward Facial Growth Treatment Plans
It is very important to correct a problem when doing any medical or dental treatment. You do not want to trade one problem for another. Very rarely are problems only cosmetic. And you do want to correct all the functional problems and not just cosmetics. Typically treatment that is only cosmetic will not be stable and problems will recur. Such is the case with anterior facial growth therapy with dental appliances. At the point facial growth treatment commences other treatment have failed. Such as orthodontics, dental sleep appliances, bite splints and night guards. The treatments failed because they did not correct the root cause of the problems. For anterior facial growth therapy to be successful, the treatment needs to do the following things:
- grow the facial bony structures forward
- increase the volume and spaces inside the mouth.
- facial width and height growth.
- improve the function of the bite and temporomandibular joint
- create a cosmetic smile
The AGGA cannot do all the above. The DNA and Homeoblock appliances can sometimes. The reasons for doing anterior growth sometimes vary. People may have:
- temporomandibular joint pain
- poor sleep with probable sleep apnea
- teeth crowding and crooking
- poor facial profile
- history of teeth extractions and retraction orthodontics
- poor posture
- neck and upper back pain
What is the Cure for Facial Under Development
The most important thing is when treatment is complete that all the problems are addressed. The main cause of all these problems is not enough facial growth to begin with in childhood. The tongue needs enough room to function properly. And when the mouth and nasal passageways are not large enough, problems with the airway occur. Airway problems lead to TMJ / TMD problems and sleep apnea. With proper comprehensive forward facial growth therapy all these issues can be cured. There is no one miracle appliance.