Early treatment of vertical skeletal dysplasia: the hyperdivergent phenotype.
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This cephalometric study evaluated an early nonextraction treatment approach for patients with severe vertical skeletal dysplasia and maxillary transverse constriction. Thirty-eight patients, 8.2 years (+/- 1.2 years) of age, were treated for 1.3 years (+/- 0.3 years) with lip seal exercises, a bonded palatal expander appliance, and a banded lower Crozat/lip bumper. The bonded palatal expander functioned as a posterior bite-block and was fixed in place throughout treatment. Patients with poor masticatory muscle force (79%) wore a high-pull chincup 12 to 14 hours per day. A control group was matched for age, sex, and mandibular plane angle. Treatment changes for chincup and other patients were not significantly different. Overall, treatment significantly enhanced condylar growth, altered it to a more anterosuperior direction, and produced "true" forward mandibular rotation 2.7 times greater than control values. Posterior facial height increased significantly more in patients than in controls, and the maxillary molars showed relative intrusion. In treated patients, articular angle increased, gonial angle decreased, and the chin moved anteriorly twice as much as in controls. Treatment also led to increased overbite and decreased overjet. Maxillary and mandibular expansion did not cause the mandibular plane angle to increase. The 16 patients with openbite malocclusions exhibited a 2.7 mm increase in overbite and inhibition of growth in anterior lower facial height. The aggregate of individual changes demonstrates a net improvement, indicating this treatment approach may be suited for hyperdivergent patients with skeletal discrepancies in all 3 planes of space.