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Effect of Herbst treatment on temporomandibular joint morphology: A systematic literature review

by Kurt Popowich, Brian Nebbe, Paul W. Major
American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics ()
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The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the effect of Herbst appliance therapy on temporomandibular joint (TMJ) morphology, with special reference to glenoid fossa remodeling, condylar remodeling, condylar position, and articular disc position. Publications of controlled trials of Herbst treatment of Class II patients using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography scans, or tomography to assess TMJ morphology were identified with Medline (1966-2001), Best Evidence (1991-2001), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (second quarter, 2001), and Embase (1998-2001). Case reports were excluded. Based on our search, only 5 studies met the selection criteria. All studies used internal controls with pretreatment and posttreatment imaging. Four studies used MRI, and 1 used tomograms. The 4 MRI studies used overlapping patient samples and were not considered as independent evidence. The MRI studies did not provide conclusive evidence of osseous remodeling or condyle position change. The tomography study demonstrated minor condyle position change. Methodological deficiencies prevented major conclusions regarding disc position. The reviewed studies highlight the importance of further research. Prospective controlled studies using serial MRI and tomography are required to establish the effect of Herbst treatment on TMJ morphology.

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