The Frankel Appliance


Why Should My Child Have Early Treatment At Age 6/7 Years?


If your child has crowding of baby teeth or small jaws, early treatment or Phase 1 may be a good choice if you don't like the idea of extractions of permanent teeth when they are 11 or 12. Most crowding in dental arches is due to the pressure placed on the teeth from the muscles of the lips or cheeks. The Frankel Appliance is intended to change that pressure and allow the teeth to erupt into a wider circle, thereby reducing the crowding and preventing extractions later. However, it must be used when the jaws are growing at an early age. Dr. Frankel was an eastern European orthodontist behind the Iron Curtain who did not have access to regular braces. He developed the appliance to be worn as much as possible from age 6 through the early teens. By maintaining excellent before and after records he was able to show outstanding final results without using braces as we know them. All of the patients were able to be treated without extractions. Dr. Williamson had the opportunity of studying with Dr. Frankel in the 1970's. The use of the appliance 12-14 hours per day, primarily sleep time plus a few hours a day, has been shown to be extremely productive by Dr. Williamson. However, in order to have an ideal bite, braces following the Frankel as a phase 11 may be required but the advantage is non extraction and a fuller more attractive smile. The appliance may look complicated but it is actually very simple. The important parts are the plastic shields that seperate the lips and cheeks from the teeth. It is not painful and children adapt to it quickly and easily.