Functional Appliance or “Frankel” (FR) Appliance
Description: A Functional Appliance is most often comprised of highly polished acrylic shields and stainless steel wires. It is a single piece and is often described as “two connected retainers”. This appliance is most often prescribed for patients with more pronounced Class II jaw discrepancies (upper-jaw forward and lower-jaw backward) or Open Bite problems (front jaws/teeth are apart and do not meet). Each appliance is fabricated as a custom fit with buccal shields (side acrylic pieces) and other components to modify growth in all planes of space. These types of appliances work comfortably with a patient’s inherent growth to affect the desired changes in skeletal/dental development.
Usage: The FR appliance is to be worn at all times with exception of cleaning and eating. Most patients find it helpful to wear the appliance at home for the first few weeks and then to wear it at all times when speech normalizes.
Cleaning: We encourage patients to clean the appliance with toothpaste and a toothbrush. If the appliance needs a deeper cleaning, anti-bacterial soap and warm water can often help, followed by a cleaning with toothpaste. Mouthwash should NOT be used and hot water should also be avoided to prevent distortion of the acrylic. Special brushes will be provided to enhance and expedite the cleaning process.
What to Expect: Upon initial placement, there may be some tongue obstruction, but your speech will be back to normal in just a few days.
Dr. Bronsky’s Tip: Read your favorite book, magazine, etc. to yourself in front of the mirror for five minutes a day – your speech will be perfect in no time.
Remember: W ith pronounced jaw discrepancies, continued treatment with other appliances will be essential to the ultimate success of treatment. The patient and orthodontist are partners in this adventure and helpful participation by the patient can make the process proceed as planned. Careful oral hygiene and compliance with all prescribed appliances can help to make the process a raging success!