The MARA appliance (Mandibular Anterior Repositioning Appliance) is an effective way to correct overbites, and an improvement over headgears, which was often how comparable overbites used to be treated. Everything is inside the mouth so patients are less self-conscious during treatment. Also the Mara appliance cannot be removed, which means that patients won’t forget to wear it and slow down or disrupt treatment.
Anyone can thrust their lower jaw forward on their own. What MARA does is bring the lower jaw to this forward position, and then over time the mouth’s skeletal and muscular structure gradually adjusts to the new placement. With MARA, a metal device is attached to molars on both the upper and lower jaws. The lower appliance has short protrusions that slide along “elbows” in the upper appliance. MARA guides the lower jaw forward whenever the patient bites or closes their jaw. Patients will start to notice results almost immediately, but the MARA is typically worn for 15 to 18 months to give time for the lower jaw to permanently grow into its new position.
The first few days(in rare cases 1-2 weeks)of wearing MARA may feel a little strange, but patients get used to it rather quickly. The MARA is used in conjunction with traditional braces, but it is only used about half the time of the full treatment time in braces.