Maxillary (Upper Jaw) Prognathism

Prognathism of the Upper Jaw

Upper jaw prognathism refers to the orthodontic problem whose main feature is the forward protrusion of the maxilla and / or the teeth to a greater degree than normal. Thus, patients having this structural abnormality display the image of a smile with protruding teeth and are often unable to close their lips.


In mild cases, the relationship of the two jaws (upper and lower) is normal but the teeth of the upper jaw may protrude more forward. In most severe (skeletal) cases, the upper jaw is either LARGER than it should be or is more FORWARD than the lower.


Clinical picture – Problems

When the upper jaw protrudes, we have the corresponding convex face that varies depending on the severity of the condition. In this case, the aesthetics of the face is negatively affected (since the lower jaw and chin appear further back than they should) while there is a risk of fracture of the anterior teeth after a fall, especially in young children. But in addition to the aesthetic problem, there are also problems with closure, speech, chewing and aggravation of the health of the teeth and gums.


The above clinical picture, history and X-rays of the face (teeth panoramic, lateral cephalometric) confirm the problem and determine its treatment. In each case, the patient is informed about the proposed tool (orthodontic appliances, braces or Invisalign aligners), method (eg with or without tooth extractions) and duration of treatment.


Treatment of Prognathism

The treatment of upper jaw prognathism depends on the patient’s age, severity and type of problem.


In the case of young patients who start their orthodontic treatment at the age of 7-10 years (pre-adolescence), it is possible to guide the growth of the lower jaw in order to correct the skeletal problem. In these cases, the application of removable appliances which children need to wear for 14-15 hours daily on their teeth, will bring about the restoration of the correct positions of the jaws and the teeth between them. The duration of treatment is 16-18 months.


In adolescent and adult patients, the orthodontic treatment can be performed with Invisalign aligners (the doctor will suggest the appropriate treatment plan). The treatment can last from 18 to 24 months depending on the severity of the problem.


In most cases with severe skeletal abnormality that conventional Orthodontics is unable to fully treat, the combination of orthodontic treatment and orthognathic surgery cures and restores the appearance of the face.


In general, the treatment of severe prognathism of the upper jaw requires specialized knowledge and clinical experience in order for the orthodontist to select the best treatment plan.

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