Anterior Modeling Appliance (ARA)

How does the ARA work?

The ARA works by stimulating a growth center that is located in the upper  palate of the mouth. The stimulation of the nerve center that is located on top of the tissue bump behind your font teeth then triggers your body's own natural bone building response. The bone growth will occur not only in the palate area, but also throughout the entire craniofacial region of the palate, upper jaw and nasal area. While you are wearing an ARA, the creation of bone, the expansion of the palate and the forward movement of the jaw are all happening in different areas at the same time. 

What are the benefits of an ARA?

This comfortable oral appliance helps to expand the upper jaw and mid-face forward to provide you with a beautiful, wide smile while also creating more space for healthy breathing and proper function of the temporomandibular joint.

  • Upper jaw forward development allows the trapped lower jaw to move forward
  • Develops face and jaws towards their true genetic potential
  • Creates space for proper bite and teeth alignment
  • Corrects underbites, overbites and crossbites without surgery

How can an ARA help me or my child?

The ARA, or anterior modeling appliance, can help any patient with jaws that are too narrow in width, especially those patients whose experience front to back narrowness (the distance from the nose to your ear). The Anterior Modeling Appliance ARA is capable of achieving dramatic forward maxillary growth by utilizing your own body's physiological process of creating new bone.

An ARA can expand your jaw structure 3-dimensionally  to allow the bones of the face to provide optimal form and function.  For patients who have been told that "jaw surgery" of some kind was the only solution, the ARA can offer most patients controlled forward growth of the jaws without surgery.

Offering results in less than a year, the ARA can improve the facial structure of children and adults of all ages and provide them with better breathing, sleeping, and overall health. Once the growth occurs and your airway is wider, you will feel better and experience less of the following symptoms: poor sleep, attention issues, jaw pain, headaches.

Does ARA work for kids?

There is a children’s version of an ARA. Depending on your child's dental age, Dr. Coats will work with you to identify the most appropriate  choices for your child's stage of development. It seems that it is almost never too early. I even have my 5 year old starting a trainer version of ARA to get  her facial bone growing  because I am able to see that her jaw is developing with a short chin. Now is the time for you to bring your child in for an evaluation and discussion about which options are right for your child’s age and growth.

How do you get the best results of ARA treatment?

Once the forward growth has been achieved, there will be more room to work on other issues, such as concerns with the tongue. For proper oral function, you must be able to place the tongue to the  roof of the mouth. However, being able to place your tongue to the roof of your mouth alone does not correct any underdevelopment and does not replace the ARA.  Following your anterior growth treatment, we can perform a tongue tie evaluation to discern whether a frenuloplasty (tongue tie procedure) might aid in better growth and allow better breathing. For optimal breathing, talking, sleeping, and eating, we want patients to be able to close their mouth, breathe through their nose, and rest their tongue in the palate.  These three key elements are essential for stable, long lasting results.

These elements can be evaluated through the use of a CBCT 3 -D x-ray of your nose,  tonsils,  tongue , jaws  and TMJ (temporomandibular joint). A comprehensive exam will identify all the factors of not just the necessary jaw growth but also of your ability to breathe and swallow, and of your tongue as well as your overall posture.  There is a lot of science that goes into Each individual's  3-D x-ray and studies  are carefully reviewed by a licensed radiologist and Dr. Coats. They work together to determine the exact amount of growth that is needed for each patient. This determination varies with every patient because it is based on your facial bones and geometry.  We also trace measurements to identify the right amount of growth needed for your case. Call Dr. Becky Coats for more information on the ARA and whether it may be an option for you.