Long-term effects of functional appliances in treated versus untreated patients with Class II malocclusion: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Cacciatore G., Ugolini A., Sforza C., Gbinigie O., Plüddemann A.
Objective To assess the cephalometric skeletal and soft-tissue of functional appliances in treated versus untreated Class II subjects in the long-term (primarily at the end of growth, secondarily at least 3 years after retention). Search methods Unrestricted electronic search of 24 databases and additional manual searches up to March 2018. Selection criteria Randomised and non-randomised controlled trials reporting on cephalometric skeletal and soft-tissue measurements of Class II patients (aged 16 years or under) treated with functional appliances, worn alone or in combination with multi-bracket therapy, compared to untreated Class II subjects. Data collection and analysis Mean differences (MDs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated with the random-effects model. Data were analysed at 2 primary time points (above 18 years of age, at the end of growth according to the Cervical Vertebral Maturation method) and a secondary time point (at least 3 years after retention). The risk of bias and quality of evidence were assessed according to the ROBINS tool and GRADE system, respectively. Results Eight non-randomised studies published in 12 papers were included. Functional appliances produced a significant improvement of the maxillo-mandibular relationship, at almost all time points (Wits appraisal at the end of growth, MD -3.52 mm, 95% CI -5.11 to -1.93, P < 0.0001). The greatest increase in mandibular length was recorded in patients aged 18 years and above (Co-Gn, MD 3.20 mm, 95% CI 1.32 to 5.08, P = 0.0009), although the improvement of the mandibular projection was negligible or not significant. The quality of evidence was ‘very low’ for most of the outcomes at both primary time points. Conclusions Functional appliances may be effective in correcting skeletal Class II malocclusion in the long-term, however the quality of the evidence was very low and the clinical significance was limited.