What is the Twin Block Orthodontic Appliance

What is the Twin Block Orthodontic Growth Appliance

twin block anterior growth expanderDr. Adams may use the Twin Block appliance when the lower jaw needs to grow a lot more forward than the upper jaw. In kids where the lower jaw is set back and there is a poor facial profile in the bottom part of the face. This condition is called retrognathia. The Twin Block is often called a functional orthodontic treatment. “Functional” means to move the lower jaw posture position forward to improve the way your teeth bite together. The situation is about a lot more than teeth. In fact, expander treatments can not only straighten teeth but also improve breathing and overall health for a lifetime.

How the Twin Block Grows the Mandible Forward

expander orthodonticTwin Block orthodontic treatment requires a top and bottom appliance that must be worn together. Each of the appliances has a bite ramp that interlocks when closing to help guide your teeth into a more forward bite position. This will improve the growth of the bottom jaw, the overall bite and a child’s profile. The ramps are also called an index in dental orthopedics. An index is an appliance bite feature where the shape of the appliance only allows the patient bite into one position.  Functional orthodontics increases the size of the airway by increasing the space in the mouth for the tongue. Anterior growth of the lower jaw also moves the tongue’s position of posture forward and further away from the airway.

The Twin Block can also be designed to have width and forward elements for both the upper a lower jaws. It is a more aggressive and versatile appliance to be used in more extreme cases of underdevelopment.

A Twin Block treatment is a great alternative to removing upper teeth and using retraction orthodontics to bring the upper jaw back to meet the lower jaw.

Twin Block is an example of an anterior growth appliance for kids. The anterior growth is achieved by changing the relationship between the mandible and the cranium. Or changes in position and shape of the temporomandibular joint. This is what happens during natural growth and development in childhood as well. The upper jaw grows naturally during development and the lower jaw moves forward as the maxilla grows. The twin block assists a lower jaw that for whatever reason did not grow forward on its own, to grow or “move” forward. Twin blocks work best on kids and have not been regularly for adults. The Vivos DNA appliance is an adult anterior growth appliance that is FDA cleared for sleep apnea. The AGGA and the ALF appliances are two other appliances that have been used for adults as well as kids.


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