Orthodontics encompass much more than just braces and clear aligners. It includes a range of different treatments that promote proper, harmonious functioning of the teeth and jaw. One such treatment involves the use of an anterior growth guidance appliance (AGGA). What exactly is an AGGA? Could you benefit from one? What can you expect from your treatment? Dr. Robert Bryce, an expert dentist who offers AGGA therapy, is here to discuss these important questions.
What Is an AGGA?
An AGGA is an oral appliance that is designed to prompt forward growth of the upper jaw and create more space in the upper dental arch. The device is made mostly of wire, but it has a small acrylic oval that presses against the upper palate, just behind the front teeth. There are a couple types of AGGAs: fixed and removable. Removable devices are usually used for children, whereas adults usually wear a fixed device.
Who Can Benefit from an AGGA?
You may benefit from an AGGA if:
- You suffer from TMD (problems with your jaw joint)
- You have severe dental crowding
- Your chin is either too prominent or looks too small
- Your upper jaw is too far back
- You have a poorly defined jawline
- Your upper teeth are severely crowded
By developing your upper dental arch, you will promote physiologic harmony within your jaw. For example, an upper jaw that is too far back causes the lower jaw to compensate when you chew. That can lead to severe pain and other TMD symptoms. An AGGA can permanently resolve such issues. It can also have a positive impact on facial aesthetics.
How Does the Treatment Work?
If Dr. Bryce recommends an AGGA for you, you’ll start phase one of treatment when he cements the device onto your upper teeth. You will also have bite plates attached to your lower molars, which will let the lower jaw move freely and find its natural resting position. About once a month or so, Dr. Bryce will adjust the AGGA. After approximately one year, your upper arch will have significantly developed, and you will have new space behind your canines.
During the second phase of treatment, you will wear braces to finish correcting your dental alignment and help you achieve a comfortable bite. To fill in the gaps created by the AGGA, you might receive dental implants, or the back teeth may be pushed forward. This phase of treatment may take several months to a year.
An AGGA is a remarkable orthodontic appliance. It might just be the key to helping you eliminate TMD pain, improve your oral health, and achieve a more attractive smile.
Meet Dr. Bryce
Dr. Robert Bryce is a highly accomplished dentist who has undergone extensive training in several areas of his profession, including orthodontics. His expertise in physiologic dentistry makes him especially qualified to help his patients achieve proper jaw and dental alignment. If you would like to speak to Dr. Bryce about getting an AGGA or other type of orthodontic treatment, contact our team at 571-434-8000 or use our online form to request an appointment.