Functional appliances utilize the muscle action produced when speaking,
eating and swallowing to produce force to move teeth and align the jaws.
Examples of functional appliances are bionators, twin blocks and Herbst appliances.
Functional appliances are used primarily in growing patients 7 to 13
years of age with overbites and closed bites. These types of malocclusions
are associated with overdeveloped upper jaws, underdeveloped lower jaws
and overclosure of the jaw due to a lack of vertical facial development.
The effects of functional appliances are to restrain the forward growth of
the upper jaw, encourage forward and downward development of the lower
jaw and increase the vertical eruption of the posterior teeth in both jaws.
The results achieved with functional appliances result in an improved bite
and chewing ability, better dental health due to less occlusal wear problems
and an enhanced facial appearance with a smile that one can be proud of.