The treatment of Class III malocclusion has been challenging for orthodontists. Among a plethora of treatment modalities, the chin-cup is considered a traditional appliance for early orthopedic intervention.
The present study aims to investigate the current scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of chin-cup therapy in Class III malocclusion of prognathic growing patients.
A systematic review of the literature was conducted using PubMed/Medline and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from January 1954 to October 2015. Articles were selected based on established inclusion/ exclusion criteria.
The search strategy resulted in 3285 articles.14 studies were selected for the final analysis. They were all CCTs, 13 of retrospective and 1 of prospective design. Methodological quality was evaluated by a risk of bias assessment, as suggested by the Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment Tool for Non-Randomized Studies on Interventions. The reported evidence presented favorable short-term outcomes both in hard and soft tissues improving the Class III profile, as well as desirable dento-alveolar changes, positively affecting the Class III malocclusion.
There is considerable agreement between studies that chin-cup therapy can be considered for the short-term treatment of growing patients with Class III malocclusion, as indicated by favorable changes both in the hard and soft tissues. The existence of considerable risk of bias in all selected studies and the unclear long-term effectiveness of chin-cup therapy highlight the need for further investigation to draw reliable conclusions.