The effect of treatment of skeletal open bite with two types of bite-blocks

Kuster, Robert ; Ingervall, Bengt

In: The European Journal of Orthodontics, 1992, vol. 14, no. 6, p. 489-499

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    The treatment of anterior skeletal open bite was studied in two groups of children. The children of one group wore a removable spring-loaded bite-block in the lower jaw for one year. The bite-block exerted an intrusive force on the upper and lower posterior teeth. The children of the other group were treated for 3 months with bite-blocks with repelling magnets. These bite-blocks were cemented on the posterior teeth of both jaws. The effects of treatment were monitored by measurement of the bite-force (group with spring bite-blocks only), by electromyographic recording of the activity of the temporal and masseter muscles, and by X-ray cephalometry. Recordings were made before, during, and at the end of the treatment, and at a follow-up observation. The bite-force increased during the first months of treatment, but was then unchanged. The activity of the masseter muscle during maximal bite also increased in the first part of the period of treatment with a spring bite-block. In the group treated with magnetic bite-blocks, there was an increase in the resting activity of the masseter muscle and in the chewing activity of the anterior temporal muscle. The effects of the treatment on bite and facial morphology were less marked in the group with spring bite-blocks than in the group with magnetic bite-blocks, with an average improvement of the overbite of 1.3 mm with the spring bite-block therapy. In the group with magnetic bite-blocks, the average improvement in overbite was 3 mm. This was thought to be due to anterior rotation of the mandible and increased eruption of the incisors. The mandibular rotation was a result of intrusion of the upper and lower posterior teeth and possibly also increased mandibular growth. A follow-up of the cases treated with magnetic bite-blocks revealed a tendency for the beneficial effects of the treatment to relapse which possibly could be counteracted by a long phase of active retention