What is the Twin Block Orthodontic Growth Appliance
Do you have trouble sleeping and breathing at night? Or feel like you cannot close your mouth and lips? And like your tongue is living in your throat? Forward growth appliances may be just for you. In this article, we explain the basic problems of “retrognathia” or reverse jaw positioning and how it can be corrected with a Twin Block orthodontic device.
Note how the child in the picture cannot close his mouth properly. And after forward growth therapy, the the mouth and lips can be closed easily and without strain. Also notice how the cheek bones are more developed and the bags under the eyes are better.
In the before profile picture, the lower jaw (mandible) and chin is positioned back closer to the throat. In the after picture, the jaw has moved out into a more forward position. When the mandible is positioned forward, the tongue is not living on the throat and blocking airflow and breathing. This is especially a big issue a night during sleep.
Meet the Twin Block Appliance
Dr. Adams may use the Twin Block appliance when the lower jaw needs to grow a lot more forward than the upper jaw. And in kids with a lower jaw that is set back. And there is 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.
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How the Twin Block Grows the Mandible Forward
Twin Block orthodontic treatment requires a top and bottom device that must be worn together. Each of the appliances has a bite ramp that interlocks when closing to help guide your jaws 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 device only allows the patient bite into one position. Functional orthodontics increases airflow through the mouth 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.
Twin Block is Versatile with Transverse (width) and Forward Growth Design Options:
The Twin Block can also be designed to have width and forward growth elements for the upper and lower jaws. It is a more aggressive and versatile appliance to be used in more extreme cases of underdevelopment in kids.
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 Stimulates Natural Jaw Growth Patterns
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 with the bite plane of the Twin Block device. The changes is made as the position of the temporomandibular joint remodels and “moves forward” and down. 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 outward. 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 used for adults.
Anterior Growth Appliances for Adults
The Vivos DNA appliance is an adult anterior growth appliance that is FDA cleared for sleep apnea. The DNA can help with poor profile and retrognathia. The AGGA and the ALF appliances are two other appliances that have been used for adults as well as kids. The Homeoblock is another example of an adult device that is very similar to the DNA device that should be explored.
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