Functional Appliance for Children with Obstructive Airway

removable functional appliance


What are removable functional appliances?

A functional appliance is an appliance that produces all or part of its effect by altering the position of the upper palate in relation to the lower jaws. The appliances are held comfortably in place with metal clasps and are made primarily out of a semi-clear acrylic to match the lining of the mouth. The appliances are able to correct arch width and malocclusion and are relatively easy to speak with once the child has adapted to them.



What is the aim of removable functional appliance treatment?


As explained in Obstructive Airway: Headaches Unveiled, children who are mouth breathers develop narrow upper jaws, resulting in malpositioned lower jaws and compressing the temporomandibular joints, leading to headaches.

The therapeutic aim is to have stable jaw joints, supported by teeth in the appropriate relationship to the joints, decompressing the jaw joints and enhancing optimum function. This leads to relief of the symptoms such as muscle pain, tension, headaches, neck aches and more. Some of our young patients have already reported significant improvements to their headaches and tension symptoms after a few months of treatment.



What are the outcomes of removable functional appliance treatment?


  • Upper arch expansion to open up airway for easier breathing.
  • Correction of deep bite, underbite.
  • Reposition individual teeth.
  • Relieve stress from jaw joints to help relieve headaches.



What are the advantages of early treatment?


Our doctors recommend the removable functional appliance because it exerts minimal interference with the developing jaws and teeth of children while being able to expand the upper jaw effectively.

Treatment beginning at a young age not only ensures better treatment outcome because of the potential for adjustment in younger children, but also eases the child of breathing problems and headaches earlier in life.

Furthermore, early treatment offers early completion dates and little inconvenience during socially and educationally busy years for the growing child.



What is the minimum or best age to start treatment?


Minimum age is around 8-9 years old; at this age, their adult teeth are starting to come in and they are more responsive to the treatment. When a child is too young, he/she may be uncooperative in wearing the splint.


Are there limitations to this treatment?


Yes! As with all removable appliances, patient co-operation is a must! Please help and encourage your child to wear the appliance for the prescribed amount of time as instructed by our doctors.



How long is the entire process?


The treatment is usually complete in 6-9 months; our doctors will advise you on the time frame for your child during the consultation.



What is the treatment process like?


Step 1: A comprehensive, diagnostic examination including manual stimulation of the head, neck and jaw muscles and evaluation of the airways, joints, bite and teeth.

Step 2: Report of condition and recommendations for treatment and symptom relief.

Step 3: Relax muscles and obtain customized record of optimal bite position.

Step 4: Custom fabricate and use specific and appropriate appliances to enable jaw expansion and guide misaligned teeth into proper positions.

Step 5: Monitor progress with periodic return-checkups until maximum oral health improvement is achieved.



removable functional appliance children headache obstructed airway