Houston dentist Dr. Ronald Konig is pleased to offer both removable anterior growth appliances (RGGA) and fixed anterior growth guidance appliances (AGGA) for patients whose malocclusion or facial asymmetry may have previously required surgical intervention. With a growth guidance appliance, Dr. Konig can gently restructure the upper jaw and midface, helping eliminate breathing problems, severe TMJ, and irregular facial development.
If you have been told your TMJ, overbite, or underbite would require surgery to correct, Dr. Konig may be able to offer you a safe, effective, and nonsurgical solution. Please call us at 713-668-2289 to schedule a consultation and evaluation at our Houston office today.
Types of Anterior Growth Guidance Appliances
We offer two types of anterior growth guidance appliances:
- Removable (RAGGA) – the removable anterior growth guidance appliance is best for children with midface deficiencies who are still waiting for adult teeth to erupt. Worn at all times, this functional appliance works to expand the upper jaw in all directions, creating space for adult teeth while restructuring the midface for both aesthetic and physical benefit. Once the RAGGA has created ideal dimensions, orthodontic treatment is used to straighten the teeth
- Fixed (AGGA) – the fixed anterior growth guidance appliance is best for adults who struggle with severe TMJ or sleep breathing problems (apnea). Unique among dental expanders, the FAGGA expands the upper jaw anteroposteriorly to create more tongue space, open airways, and improve TMJ issues. FAGGA treatment may also improve the appearance of the cheekbones, eyes, nose, and lower jaw
* Note the creation of space behind the cuspids
Following jaw devopment with the AGGA, lingual wire is placed to ensure the jaw retains its new size and shape. As with a RAGGA, a special type of orthodontics is utilized used to move the other teeth forward to close any spaces created by treatment and to properly straighten the teeth. This is protraction orthodontics as opposed to retraction orthodontics.
Why is it bad to have small or narrow jaws?
Small Upper or lower jaws affect our appearances and also can increase one's risk of sleep apnea, TMJ dysfunctional, cause headaches and facial pain. Fortunately, there are non-surgical methods such as AGGA, DNA, and ALF appliances combined with other methods to correct these issues even in adults.
Can Invisalign can palatal expansion?
Invisalign can give some expansion usually not enough for narrow palates. Slow palatal expansion such as that with the Anterior Guided Growth Appliance (AGGA) combined with Controlled Arch Orthodontics can give much more. The Invisalign primarily uprights the teeth by expanding the bone around the teeth. The slow palatal expansion techniques can expand the palatal bones at any age.
How is the AGGA Different From Other Similiar Types of Appliances?
The AGGA is different in that is takes advantage of your innate physiological process rather than using mechanical force. Also, the AGGA is able to achieve dramatic forward growth of the upper arch instead of just side-to-side growth, or width that the other types of appliances provide.
RAGGA and Myofunctional Therapy
Tongue thrust, mouth breathing, and unusual breathing patterns may be common in children with midface deficiency. To address these issues, Dr. Konig typically suggests myofunctional therapy, an exercise-based treatment designed to improve the functioning of muscles in the mouth, throat, and face.
Myofunctional therapy focuses on exercises designed to eliminate tongue thrust, an oral health issue that can result in breathing and speech irregularities and alter the appearance of the face. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, Dr. Konig can combine myofunctional therapy with an anterior growth guidance appliance to correct issues caused by orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) in children, helping restore comfort, improve appearance, and reduce risks of developing TMJ in the future. This combination may also be used with a FAGGA for adults who are already struggling with chronic headaches and other consequences of TMJ.
Is an Anterior Growth Guidance Appliance Right for Me?
You may be the ideal candidate for an anterior growth guidance appliance if you:
- Have been told your TMJ will require surgery to correct
- Struggle with breathing issues
- Find chewing difficult
- Have an asymmetrical facial structure
The best way to determine if this treatment is right for you is through an evaluation of your facial and jaw structure with Dr. Konig. During this evaluation, Dr. Konig will listen to your concerns, evaluate your symptoms, and examine your face and jaw, enabling him to make the best treatment suggestion for your needs.
If you live in Houston, The Woodlands, Sugar Land, Katy, or surrounding areas of Texas and believe you could benefit from an anterior growth guidance appliance, please call Ronald W. Konig, DDS, FAGD, LVIF, FIAPA at 713-668-2289 to schedule an evaluation today.