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Useful Information

Here you can read about an interesting primate experiment as well as some extra  and useful info which can't be missed. 

General Info


Monkey Experiment

In 1981 an experiment was conducted in California, that was called “Primate experiments on oral respiration”. This experiment focused on the relationship between oral respiration and dental malocclusions. It was meant to examine the effects of orthodontic appliances on the individuals. Mouth breathing was forced on the animals by using silicon nose plugs. The experiment was conducted on 42 rhesus monkeys, 4 of which were female. Their ages ranged from 2 to 6 years old. The animals were arranged in pairs, one control and one experimental. The experiment lasted 18 months with oral respiration and 1 year of restored nasal respiration. As predicted, the animals with the nose plugs began breathing through their mouth, they all developed slightly different adaptations. One thing was in common, they all acquired a facial appearance and dental malocclusion different to their control pair.

From the experiment it can be deduced that the morphology of the orofacial structure is affected in two ways by orthodontic appliances; (1) direct physical force which changes the strain distribution on the bones and hence remodelling the teeth movement. (2) initiating sensory input which triggers a neuromuscular response. This also changes the muscle development and teeth position. 

Humans, just like monkeys, may also develop morphologic deviations, but they may vary from one another. Therefore scientists from this experiment assume that humans are as resourceful as these primates and establish methods to cope with nasal obstruction. The early diagnosis and treatment of such cases is important to prevent similar symptoms as the rhesus monkey did. This experiment was beneficial to human orthodontics, but also for other monkeys and animals for future similar cases. (Harvold)

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