Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate long-term changes in the pharyngeal airway dimensions after functional appliance treatment in adolescents with skeletal Class II malocclusions. Methods: Pharyngeal airway dimensions were compared between subjects with skeletal Class II malocclusions (n = 24; mean age: 11.6 ± 1.29 years) treated with a Class II bionator and age- matched control subjects with skeletal Class I occlusions (n = 24; mean age: 11.0 ± 1.21 years) using a series of lateral cephalograms obtained at the initial visit (T0), after treatment (T1), and at the completion of growth (T2). Results: The length of the nasopharyngeal region was similar between adolescents with skeletal Class I and Class II malocclusions at all time points, while the lengths of the upper and lower oropharyngeal regions and the pharyngeal airway areas were significantly smaller in the skeletal Class II adolescents before treatment when compared to the control adolescents (p < 0.05). However, following treat ment with a functional appliance, the skeletal Class II adolescents had increased pharyngeal airway dimensions, which became similar to those of the control subjects. Conclusions: Functional appliance therapy can increase the pharyngeal airway dimensions in growing adolescents with skeletal Class II malocclusions, and this effect is maintained until the completion of growth.
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