Journal Article

The effects of early headgear treatment on dental arches and craniofacial morphology: a report of a 2 year randomized study

Raimo Mäntysaari, Tuomo Kantomaa, Pertti Pirttiniemi and Aila Pykäläinen

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 26, issue 1, pages 59-64
Published in print February 2004 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online February 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejo/26.1.59
The effects of early headgear treatment on dental arches and craniofacial morphology: a report of a 2 year randomized study

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The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of early headgear treatment on dental arches and craniofacial morphology in children in the early mixed dentition. The total study group comprised 68 children of both sexes (40 boys and 28 girls) aged 7.6 years [standard deviation (SD) 0.3]. The children, who had a Class II tendency in occlusion and moderate crowding of the dental arches, were randomly divided into two groups of equal size, matched according to gender. In the headgear (HG) group, treatment was initiated immediately. The mean treatment time was 16 months. In the second group, which served as the control, only interceptive procedures were performed during the follow-up period. The records, which included dental casts and lateral cephalograms, were obtained after follow-up periods of 1 and 2 years.

The lengths and the widths of the maxillary and mandibular dental arches were significantly increased in the HG group after the 2 year follow-up period. The mean increase in lower arch length and width was 2.4 mm (SD 1.7) and 2.2 mm (SD 1.2), respectively. On average, the space gain in the lower arch was half that of the upper arch. No significant changes were found in the arch dimensions of the control group. Maxillary growth restraint and labial tilting of the incisors were the most significant cephalometric findings in the HG group when compared with the controls.

The use of headgear in the early mixed dentition is effective in the treatment of moderate crowding. It is noteworthy that significant space gain in the dimensions of the lower arch can be achieved by headgear application to the upper first molars.

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Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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