Functional orthopedic magnetic appliance (FOMA) III-Modus operandi

Alexander D. Vardimon, Thomas M. Graber, Lawrence R. Voss, Tommy P. Mulfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An intraoral intermaxillary appliance has been developed for the treatment of Class III malocclusions that exhibit midface sagittal deficiency with or without mandibular excess. The functional orthopedic magnetic appliance (FOMA) III consists of upper and lower acrylic plates with a permanent magnet incorporated into each plate. The upper magnet is linked to a retraction screw. The upper magnet is retracted periodically (e.g., monthly) to stimulate maxillary advancement and mandibular retardation. The attractive mode neodymium magnets used in this study produced a horizontal force of 98 gm and a vertical force of 371 gm. Six female Macaca fascicularis monkeys were treated with FOMA IIIs. An additional three animals were treated with sham appliances. After 4 months of treatment, the following results were found: the growth pattern of the cranial base (saddle angle) was not altered; midfacial protraction did occur along a recumbent hyperbolic curve with a horizontal maxillary displacement and an anterosuperior premaxillary rotation; the cumulative protraction of the maxillary complex was initiated at the pterygomaxillary fissure with an additional contribution provided by other circummaxillary sutures (zygomaticomaxillary s., transverse s., premaxillary s.); and inhibition of mandibular length was minimal, but a tendency toward a vertical condylar growth pattern was observed. The interaction between sutural and condylar growth sites appeared biphasic, characterized by an immediate and rapid excitation of the circummaxillary sutures followed by a delayed and slow suppression of the condylar cartilage. Long-term animal and clinical FOMA III studies are recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-148
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1990


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