Long-term results of remodelling the facial bones with a soft moulding helmet in beagles: the “reciprocally stimulated growth” hypothesis
Review articleOpen access

AbstractFacial deformity is often seen in infants with deformational plagiocephaly and it usually improves with conservative management. However, we know of few studies of the effect of helmet treatment on the facial skeleton. Our aim therefore was to find out its long-term effects on skull remodelling, and on the shape of the face. Seven beagles wore helmets for seven weeks after birth. Seven study beagles and 3 controls were killed and we measured the length, width, and height of the skulls, maxillas, and mandibles. Statistical analysis showed that the total craniofacial length and skull length did not differ significantly, and skull volumes were similar. Maximal craniofacial, skull, maxillary, and mandibular width were all significantly less in the study group. The maximal craniofacial, maxillary, and mandibular widths were strongly correlated with changes in the skull width, and the width:length ratios of the skulls, maxillas, and mandibles did differ significantly. The skull widths in the study group were significantly smaller, which suggests that a soft moulding helmet may change the growth pattern permanently. The effect of a soft moulding helmet on the lateral aspect of the skull affected the width of the face semipermanently. This modulation in the shape of the skull vault and base may change the shape of the maxilla and mandible, which may serve as a background for the use of helmet treatment to change the facial configuration.

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