Garvey Team Orthodontics
A Functional Removable ‘Bionator’ can be used successfully in patients who are 7 years or older. These patients have a front to back or anterior/posterior jaw discrepancies. This is usually described as an overbite or over-jet. Most orthodontists will recommend a headgear to hold the upper jaw growth or upper braces with headgear. Some orthodontist will recommend no treatment until the patient has all the permanent teeth. This can often result in a need for extractions and a more difficult and timely braces care. In the majority of cases, Dr. Garvey finds that actually the lower jaw is back and he prefers to use a functional orthopedic appliance (Bionator) which is removable and stimulates growth of the lower jaw forward to both correct the overbite (deep bite) and over jet (upper teeth sticking out). Most younger kids would rather wear it because it is painless and cool.They come in colors with sparkles and some even ‘glow in the dark’!
After its use it is easier for the patients to breath more normally through their nose and not through the mouth. This is best done at age 7 or 8 when the patient is more willing to wear a removable appliance. This technique is used in Europe and Dr. Garvey has been using them successfully for 28 years. The use of these appliances changes the function of the mouth to reduce negative forces like mouth breathing and tongue thrusting. They are also good for the thumb habit patient who is ready to stop the habit. Usually this is a early interceptive care and braces will be needed at age 10-12. Often the patient does not then need teeth removed and his care is much shorter and less costly. Also the kids can ridicule someone with overbite and this can cause some unnecessary psychologic stress. Dr. Garvey also prefers to use the Bionator over the headgear because he feels that headgear forces can place unnatural strain on the jaw joints if not used properly. In fact, he uses the Bionator in cases where a child has jaw pain or TMD. The profile changes are often dramatic and rewarding for both the staff and patient and parent. Of course they do nothing if not worn and they require to be worn at school and at nights for about 6 months. Usually younger kids do very well.