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Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2011 Feb;139(2):154-69. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2010.10.019.

Stability of treatment for anterior open-bite malocclusion: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Orthodontics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-7446, USA.



Anterior open-bite (AOB) treatment is considered challenging because of difficulties in determining and addressing etiologic factors and the potential for relapse in the vertical dimension after treatment. In this review, we compiled evidence on the long-term stability of the major therapeutic interventions for correcting AOB. Our objective was to review and compile evidence for the stability of surgical and nonsurgical therapies for AOB malocclusion. Our data sources were PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, limited gray literature search, and hand searching.


A search was performed of the electronic health literature on the stability of AOB after treatment. Hand searching of major orthodontic journals and limited gray literature searching was also performed, and all pertinent abstracts were reviewed for inclusion. Full articles were retrieved for abstracts or titles that met the initial inclusion criteria or lacked sufficient detail for immediate exclusion. Studies accepted for analysis were reviewed and their relevant data retrieved for pooling. The long-term stability estimates were pooled into nonsurgical and surgical groups, and summary statistics were generated.


One hundred five abstracts met the initial search criteria, and 21 articles were included in final analyses. Rejected articles failed to exhibit follow-up times of 12 months or more, did not include measurements of overbite (OB), or did not meet inclusion criteria. All included articles were divided into a surgical group (SX) with a mean age of 23.3 years and a nonsurgical group (NSX) with a mean age of 16.4 years. All studies were case series. Random-effects statistical models were used to pool the mean OB measures before and after treatment and also at the long-term follow-up. The pretreatment adjusted means of OB were -2.8 mm for the SX and -2.5 mm for the NSX. AOB closures up to +1.6 mm (SX) and +1.4 mm (NSX) were achieved. Relapse in the SX group during the mean 3.5 years of follow-up reduced the OB to +1.3 mm; the NSX group relapsed to +0.8 mm in the mean 3.2 years of follow-up. Pooled results indicated reasonable stability of both the SX (82%) and NSX (75%) treatments of AOB measured by positive OB at 12 or more months after the treatment interventions.


In the included case series publications, success of both the SX and NSX treatments of AOB appeared to be greater than 75%. Because the SX and the NSX were examined in different studies and applied to different clinical populations, no direct assessment of comparative effectiveness was possible. The pooled results should be viewed with caution because of the lack of within-study control groups and the variability among studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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