The aims of this study were to identify differences in the initial skeletal morphology between successful and unsuccessful groups and to establish a novel method for predicting the final outcome of treatment with a maxillary protraction appliance (MPA) and chincap. The cephalograms used in this study were taken from 32 Japanese girls (mean age 10.2 years) with a Class III malocclusion at the beginning of treatment with an MPA and chincap (T1), at removal of the appliance (T2), and during the final post-treatment period (T3). The subjects were divided into two groups according to the treatment outcome at T3. Lower face height (ANS-Me), total face height (N-Me), ratio of face height (ANS-Me/N-ANS), maxillary position, mandibular plane and gonial angle at T1 were all significantly larger in the unsuccessful group, compared with the successful group. Discriminant analysis indicated that lower face height and gonial angle were significant determinants for distinguishing between the two groups at T1. From T1 to T2, while the anterior displacement of the maxilla was almost the same in the two groups, SNB decreased by 1.6 degrees in the successful group and 0.4 degrees in the unsuccessful group. After orthopaedic treatment, a second phase of treatment with a multibracket system was performed (T2 to T3). From T2 to T3, SNA increased by 0.4 degrees in the successful group and decreased by 0.7 degrees in the unsuccessful group. These results indicate that the vertical dimensions of the craniofacial skeleton are important for predicting the prognosis of skeletal Class III patients treated with a MPA and chincap and that the discriminant formula established in this study is effective in predicting the final treatment outcome.
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