Functional appliances are a form of removable appliances or plates.
Many parents want early correction so their children do not have problems at high school. I caution against early treatment for the following reasons:
- Functional appliance treatment is required where the lower jaw does not grow as fast as the upper jaw. This growth pattern will continue. If treatment is too early then growth will undo the benefit of treatment and further treatment will be required.
- Functional appliances require a high level of cooperation. Younger patients have difficulty achieving this high standard. Consequently many treatments fail at a younger age due to lack of cooperation. If these treatments had been instigated later, the likelihood of success is much greater and less strain is placed on family relationships.