Common Orthodontic Appliances and Devices
Types of Appliances
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Sims Orthodontics has perfected smiles for patients all across the Pensacola area by using a variety of orthodontic appliances and devices. The complexity and severity of the issue dictates what type of appliance is used, so if you have an orthodontic issue, come see us for a complimentary consultation. Here are some of the most commonly used orthodontic appliances:
Expanders/Rapid Palatal Expander
The Rapid Palatal Expander is used to create a wider space in the upper jaw. It is attached to the upper molars through bonding or cemented bands. This appliance is typically used when the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw, when the upper teeth are crowded or blocked out of the dental arch, or when a crossbite is present.
The expander is activated when a special key turns a screw in the center of device. The activation allows for gradual, outward pressure to be applied to both halves of the upper jaw, so that an increased amount of bone can grow between the right and left halves of the jaw. Over a two to four week period, this will ultimately result in an increased jaw width.
The Herbst appliance is an advanced functional device that is used to correct an overbite. If left untreated, an overbite can threaten the long-term health of your teeth, gums, and jaw.
The Herbst encourages the growth of the lower jaw by holding it forward. It consists of crowns that are cemented over your back teeth like a thimble, and the crowns have rods and tubes (hinges) attached to them that hold your lower jaw forward. The rods and tubes can be adjusted throughout treatment to position your jaw and move your teeth as needed. Patients with the Herbst are able to quickly adapt to chewing with their lower jaw in a forward position.
If the appliance causes you to develop sore areas on the inside of your cheeks, please do not try to adjust it yourself. Call us for an appointment so that the necessary adjustments can be made.
Elastics are a vital part of treatment and are also contingent upon patient compliance. They add extra pressure to braces to help move the teeth.
Elastics are worn at all times, except when eating or brushing your teeth, and should be changed at least once a day. They come in different sizes and are each used for a specific purpose, so we will provide you with the necessary size for your particular condition.
When elastics aren’t worn consistently, treatment setbacks may occur. Even if just one day is missed, it could cause your teeth to shift back to their original position, so make sure they are worn correctly – don’t undo all of your hard work!
FaceMask is used to help correct crossbites and underbites in growing children. Also known as a reverse-pull headgear, FaceMask is a removable appliance that is used to increase growth on the top jaw. Patient compliance is extremely important with this appliance, which is usually worn for 6 to 12 months. When timed correctly with growth, FaceMask can prevent the need for future surgery.
Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs)
TADs allow orthodontists to move some teeth while keeping others still, or achieve orthodontic movement in a mouth with missing teeth. They are mini-screw anchors made of bio-compatible titanium alloy that can be inserted into specific places in the mouth, and are used as a fixed point from which teeth can move.
Orthodontists had to rely on headgear for their fixed point prior to the invention of TADs. This important advancement in orthodontics has provided an option for a fixed point that is smaller, more discreet, and more efficient. They also require significantly less work for the patient.
A Forsus appliance is used when the upper jaw and teeth protrude over the lower jaw excessively. It is usually reserved for more extreme cases, such as when elastics cannot correct the bite, or when a patient can’t remember to wear their elastics.
Utilizing a Forsus appliance can shorten a patient’s time in braces, and reduce or eliminate the need for wearing elastics. It typically stays in the mouth for six to nine months, depending on the severity of the case.