Orthodontic management by functional activator treatment: a case report | Journal of Medical Case Reports

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Functional activators were created for orthodontic purposes in the 1950s by Soulet and Besombes, two French orthodontists. These functional orthopedic devices were designed to reinstate the craniofacial architecture. The first Soulet-Besombes appliances were made of natural rubber because its elasticity was able to produce a well-controlled orthopedic effect. This technique was defined by the French orthodontic inventors as a way to free, stimulate, and lead the growth of jaws [14]. In subsequent years, pursuant to the Soulet and Besombes orthodontic philosophy, many functional activators were developed, with several shapes, different materials, and various orthodontic purposes. Activators balance the skeletal bases through two double matched planes, upper and lower, where teeth are positioned with effects of propulsion, retropulsion, and expansion. After employing the positioners, the orthodontist will require minor tooth movement after functional treatment because of the elastomeric material [5, 6]. In fact, this device improves the chewing function, aligns the teeth, re-educates the tongue due to stimulation toward the retroincisal papilla spot, and modulates the muscular tone in occlusal-postural syndrome; moreover, it is ideal for treating obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. The employed materials are suitable because they are soft enough to allow patient compliance without traumatizing the oral mucosa and jaws and at the same time are tough enough to resist chewing loads. There is a complete array of activators for every type of mouth, according to the skull conformation, body features, and dental arch shape. Proper employment of this activator in association with physical exercises will allow patients to obtain benefits in the entire neuromyofascial system [711]. The aim of this report is to describe a patient with a class II, skeletal I division, molar class II mandibular deficit, who exhibited both overjet and overbite between 6 and 9 mm prior to treatment. This case was solved during mixed dentition by using only the activator Equilibrator (EQ) O.S.A. ideated by Doctors Ovidi, Aprile, and Santi and commercialized by Eptamed (EQ O.S.A.; Eptamed SRL, Cesena, Italy; www.eptamed.com) according to orthopedic-functional orthodontics.

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