Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
                                                   Official journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry                           
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 57--61

Treatment of pseudo Class III malocclusion by modified Hawleys appliance with inverted labial bow

KS Negi1, KR Sharma2,  
1 Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, HP Government Dental College and Hospital, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, HP Government Dental College and Hospital, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
K S Negi
Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, HP Government Dental College and Hospital, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh


Pseudo Class III malocclusion is characterized by an anterior crossbite with functional forward mandibular displacement. Various appliances have been devised for early treatment of a pseudo Class III. The aim of this article is to highlight the method of construction and use a simple removable appliance termed as «DQ»Modified Hawleys appliance with inverted labial bow«DQ» to treat psuedo class III malocclusion in the mixed dentition period. It also emphasizes the importance of differentiating between true Class III and pseudo Class III. This appliance in this type of malocclusion enabled the correction of a dental malocclusion in a few months and therapeutic stability of a mesially positioned mandible encouraging favorable skeletal growth.

How to cite this article:
Negi K S, Sharma K R. Treatment of pseudo Class III malocclusion by modified Hawleys appliance with inverted labial bow.J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2011;29:57-61

How to cite this URL:
Negi K S, Sharma K R. Treatment of pseudo Class III malocclusion by modified Hawleys appliance with inverted labial bow. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Oct 4 ];29:57-61
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Mesioclusion is an anteroposterior dentoalveolar relationship characterized by a more anterior position of the mandibular dentition relative to the maxillary dentition. Characteristics of skeletal Class III malocclusion have been well documented and summarized as follows: Skeletal components with underdeveloped maxilla, overdeveloped mandible, or a combination of both; dentoalveolar components with proclined maxillary incisors and retroclined mandibular incisors to achieve dentoalveolar compensation. [1],[2]

The relative prominence of the mandibular dentition may not be related to differential amounts of jaw growth, but the apparent imbalance in jaw size is considered to be essentially the result of a mesial thrust of the mandible. This malocclusion has been termed pseudo-mesioclusion, apparent Class III, [3] pseudoprognathism, [4],[5] pseudo Class III, postural Class III, [6],[7] and functional Class III. [8]

Moyers suggested pseudo Class III malocclusion as a positional mal-relationship with an acquired neuromuscular reflex. [3] Pseudo Class III malocclusion has been identified with anterior crossbite as a result of mandibular displacement. [9],[10] Premature contact between the maxillary and mandibular incisors results in forward displacement of the mandible in pseudo Class III malocclusion; this displacement disengages the incisors and permits further closure into the position in which the posterior teeth occluded. [10],[11] Several reports attributed the incisor interference to the retroclined upper incisors and proclined lower incisors in pseudo Class III malocclusion. [3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[12],[13]

Comparison of extra-oral photos revealed that the profile of pseudo Class III malocclusion appeared normal at centric relation (CR) and slightly concave at habitual occlusion (HO); moreover, molar relationship was Class I at CR and Class III at HO. [10],[12] Pseudo Class III malocclusion is characterized by certain morphologic, dental, and skeletal characteristics: retrusive upper lip, decreased midface length, retroclined upper incisors, and increased maxillary-mandibular difference. [14]

Different etiological factors are suggested in pseudo Class III malocclusion [8]

Dental factors

Ectopic eruption of maxillary central incisorsPremature loss of deciduous molars

Functional factors

Anomalies in tongue positionNeuromuscular featuresNasorespiratory or airway problems

Skeletal factors

Minor transverse maxillary discrepancy

Management of pseudo Class III malocclusion

The pseudo Class III malocclusion involves both permanent teeth and the deciduous dentition. Because a malocclusion may be regarded as an aesthetic problem, parents often inquire whether a therapy is required. It is difficult to justify the lack of attention given to the timing of treatment of pseudo Class III malocclusion, which remains controversial. [15] Some clinicians believed that in many patients, it was best to allow the eruption of permanent teeth before initiating orthodontic treatment. In this way, a relatively straightforward manner of treatment within a predictable duration could be provided for patients. However, delaying the treatment until permanent dentition errupts may cause loss of space required for eruption of the canines. [3],[10],[13] Some practitioners prefer to wait for the permanent maxillary incisors to erupt before initiating therapy due to the natural tendency of teeth to erupt in a lingual position during dental arch development. Occasionally, functional deciduous anterior crossbites correct themselves spontaneously. White has suggested intervention in cases of pseudo Class III malocclusion in mixed dentition when the maxillary and mandibular incisors have erupted. [16] This allows permanent teeth to erupt in a better position and also improves dental aesthetics.

In general terms, the goal of interceptive orthodontics is to prevent an existing problem from worsening. Specifically, for pseudo Class III, the goals of early treatment are to correct the anterior displacement of the mandible before the eruption of the canines and premolars. Anterior teeth can be guided into Class I in the proper mandibular position, to provide space for eruption of the buccal segments as a result of proclination of the upper incisor, and to provide a normal environment for growth of the maxilla, thus eliminating the anterior crossbite. [10],[15],[17]

From a therapeutic point of view, Graber [6] and others suggested that the mesioclusion must be examined with the mandible guided into a retruded contact position. If the mandibular incisors approach an edge-to-edge occlusion and then slide into anterior displacement, the malocclusion may be pseudo-mesioclusion. Conversely, a true mesioclusion is one in which the mandible cannot be retruded and the pattern of closure is a smooth arch, anteroposteriorly. Various appliances have been devised for early treatment of a pseudo Class III, such as removable plates with springs, fixed or removable inclined planes, functional appliances, chin-cups, and simple fixed appliances. [9],[13],[18]

This case report is intended to illustrate a simple and easy way to manage pseudo Class III by a modified Hawleys appliance with inverted labial bow.

 Case Report

A male patient aged 9 years and 6 months, presented with chief complaint of the lower anterior teeth overlapping the upper teeth; his parents were also concerned because of his abnormal facial profile. On clinical examination, a retruded upper lip with prominent lower lip was noted, giving an appearance of midface deficient as seen in class III malocclusion. There was a mesial step molar relationship in centric occlusion with the incisors in crossbite. The dental relationship suggested retroclined upper central incisors, with mild proclination of lower incisors [Figure 1]. The incisors were in end-to-end relationship with posterior open bite when the mandible guided in centric relation. Clinical examination revealed that the displacement occurred due to a premature contact between upper and lower incisors. Therefore, the diagnosis made was a pseudo Class III malocclusion characterized by anterior crossbite and functional mandibular shift in centric occlusion.{Figure 1}

Appliance design

In order to construct a modified Hawleys appliance, register the bite by guiding the mandible distally in an edge-to-edge incisors relation. Subsequently, transfer the bite in the working model and articulate it in the hinge articulator. After mounting the upper and lower casts remove the construction bite and fabricate an inverted labial bow [Figure 2] and Adams clasp with 0.036'' stainless steel wire. Further, stabilize the inverted labial bow by using wax and construct the acrylic plate as the Hawleys appliance [Figure 2].{Figure 2}

Treatment objectives

To eliminate CR-CO discrepancy and anterior crossbiteTo correct Class III and establish Class I canine relationshipTo achieve normal overjet, and reduce deep bite

Treatment progress

Bite was registered by guiding the mandible distally in incisor edge-to-edge relation for mounting the upper and lower cast in the laboratory. Modified Hawleys appliance was constructed with inverted labial bow. The appliance was delivered with instruction to use it at night for a week and return for follow-up [Figure 3]. After a week, the patient was comfortable and functional shift of mandible occurred in the edge-to-edge incisor relation while closing [Figure 4]. The patient then was asked to use the appliance continuously, except while eating and report after three weeks. With regard to continuous use of appliance for one month, the patient was able to comfortably close the mandible in centric occlusion with positive overbite. Also, there was almost intercuspation in posterior occlusion, with normal lip relation and profile [Figure 5]. The appliance was discontinued after two months when normal occlusion was achieved in centric occlusal relation without the appliance and the patient was advised to use the appliance only at night as a retainer for six months.{Figure 3}{Figure 4}{Figure 5}


The various treatments suggested in the literature for correction of anterior crossbite include several different appliances, both fixed and/or removable with heavy intermittent forces (inclined bite plane, tongue blade) or light-continuous forces (removable appliance with auxiliary springs). Other alternative therapies that may correct skeletal problems in young patients have been shown to be effective, with significant changes in the craniofacial complex, including the use of protraction headgear, chincap, and Frankel III. [19],[20],[21],[22] Tsai suggests the use of rapid palatal expansion and standard edgewise appliance to resolve an anterior crossbite in a 7-year-old boy. [23]

Rabie and Gu have described a simple method for early treatment of pseudo Class III malocclusion in the mixed dentition by using fixed appliance. Proclination of the upper incisors and/or retroclination of the lower incisors contribute to the correction of anterior crossbite and elimination of mandibular displacement. [24] Early treatment also permits us to gain space for canine eruption. The therapeutic use of a modified Hawleys appliance with inverted labial bow is suggested in this case report with anterior crossbite in mixed dentition as the simplest way of managing anterior crossbite as compared to other conventional appliances mentioned in the literature.


Modified Hawleys appliance with inverted labial bow is easy to construct and patient-friendly appliance to correct anterior crossbite in Psuedo class-III malocclusion.

Early treatment of Psuedo class III malocclusion helps in:

Elimination of mandibular displacement, thus allowing the permanent dentition to be guided into Class I at proper mandibular positionCreation of space for eruption of canines and premolarsElimination of traumatic occlusion.


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