Growing the Mandible? Impossible, Right?

Since the 2007 Cochrane Review on Class II correction, the prevailing catch-cry has been that “you can’t grow mandibles”. The fallacy of this blithe extrapolation lies in the fact that the main criteria used in the comparison of early and late Class II correction was measurement of overjet (mm) and ANB angle (the cephalometric relationship of the maxilla to the mandible). In no way do these measurements accurately compare the differences in mandibular “growth” between the two approaches.

Studies that attempt to determine whether or not we can influence mandibular length fall on both sides of the fence. The real priority is allowing mandibular translation for a better facial profile and more patent airway. One method of moving the mandible forward is treatment with myofunctional appliances, and there are case studies that demonstrate the efficiency of this approach.