Long-term follow-up of a patient with achondroplasia treated with an orthodontic approach

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Abstract

We successfully treated a patient with achondroplasia with conventional orthodontic techniques. It was followed by long-term retention. The patient, a 12-year-old boy, had chief complaints of occlusal disturbance and mandibular protrusion. He had been diagnosed with achondroplasia and had growth hormone treatment in his early teenage years. His facial profile was concave with a bulging forehead and a retrognathic maxilla. It was characterized by a skeletal Class III jaw-base relationship with a retropositioned maxilla. At the age of 12 years 9 months, maxillary protraction was initiated with a reverse headgear; for 2 years 6 months, the maxillomandibular growth was controlled. After the growth spurt, at the age of 15 years 6 months, leveling and alignment of both dental arches were started with preadjusted edgewise appliances. After 83 months of multibracket treatment, an acceptable occlusion with a Class I molar relationship and an adequate interincisal relationship was achieved, despite the simultaneous marked vertical growth of the mandible. The resultant occlusion was stable during a 6-year retention period, although considerable forward-downward mandibular growth was observed. Conclusively, our results indicated the necessity of long-term observation in this patient with achondroplasia, especially because of the persistent mandibular growth.

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