When treating patients with vertical skeletal discrepancies, orthodontists have had to be satisfied with occlusal corrections, hoping that the skeletal relationships do not worsen. For the longest time, surgery was the only way to correct vertical skeletal discrepancies. Based on our renewed understanding of growth, non-surgical orthopedic correction of growing patients with severe skeletal problems is now possible. This approach addresses both the AP and vertical skeletal discrepancies that affict many patients, producing positive changes in chin projection, mandibular plane orientation, gonial angulation, condylar growth direction, and lower facial height. To fully understand why this approach works, orthodontists must change the way they think about mandibular growth. Only by doing so will be able to truly grasp why it is possible to obtain substantial orthopedic changes in growing patients with vertical skeletal discrepancies, and why such corrections remain stable over the long-term.
Explain why they have to change the way they think about growth of patients with vertical problems.
Identify how to orthopedically correct patients with vertical skeletal problems.
Explain why it is better to treat patients with vertical skeletal problems while they are still growing.