What Are Orthodontic Appliances?
Orthodontic appliances are dental devices specifically designed to aid the treatment of an orthodontic condition.
They are used to treat several orthodontic issues, including jaw irregularities, crowded teeth, crooked teeth, sleep apnea,
and snoring. There are many types of orthodontic appliances available. These include:
Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Wearing this orthodontic appliance improves the position of your lower and upper teeth. It’s important for you to wear your elastics as instructed by your orthodontist and remember that they work far more efficiently if worn as prescribed.
The Forsus Fatigue Resistant Device is an alternative to orthodontic headgear. It improves the position of the teeth, helps eliminate excessive overbites, promotes growth in adolescents, and possibly prevents the need for corrective jaw surgery.
Headgear is an orthodontic device used to treat patients suffering from overbites. These patients usually have their upper jaw in front of their lower jaw (known as an “overbite”), or they have their lower jaw in front of their upper jaw (known as an “underbite”). When you use this orthodontic device, it gently “pulls” your teeth to stop further forward development of your upper teeth and jaw.
This orthodontic appliance reduces the severity of an overbite by slowly moving the upper molars backward and the lower jaw forward. The Herbst® appliance is a fixed orthodontic appliance worn for about 12-15 months and is used mostly on younger, growing children.
The palatal expander is an orthodontic device that “widens” (or expands) your upper jaw by exerting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Your Cary orthodontist will guide you on how and when to adjust your palatal expander. When you achieve your desired expansion, you will continue wearing the appliance for several months to prevent regression and solidify the expansion.
These devices complete the final tooth movements in your orthodontic treatment. By cooperating fully with your orthodontist, you may only need to wear the appliance for 4-8 weeks.
Orthodontic retainers may be fixed or removable. These devices hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. Your orthodontist will guide you on how to use or care for your retainer and how long you need to wear them. Keep in mind that wearing your retainer as instructed by your orthodontist is crucial to prevent treatment regression.
Separators or Spacers
Separators or spacers are small rubber doughnuts placed between your teeth to push them apart so that your orthodontist can install orthodontic bands on your teeth during your next appointment. We will remove the separators before we install the bands. Separators do not mix well with toothpicks, sticky foods, or floss.
Twin Block Appliance
The twin block appliance differs from other functional orthodontic appliances, as it involves two separate appliances (one for the lower arch and one for the upper arch) working together to create an advanced lower jaw position. Although this patient-friendly orthodontic appliance is removable for easy hygiene, you must wear it for at least 18 hours per day, which includes the time you spend eating and sleeping.
Twin block appliances are more comfortable than jaw-correcting appliances, as they are made of smooth acrylic and utilize fewer wires. Using a twin block appliance results in a broad, beautiful smile, a stable and healthy temporomandibular joint, an improved profile, and proper jaw function.
MARA stands for Mandibular Anterior Repositioning Appliance. It is a non-removable orthodontic appliance that promotes the growth of the lower jaw to help correct severe overbites and reduce the need for tooth extractions or orthognathic surgery.
Your orthodontist will anchor the MARA appliance to your molars with bands, crowns, or modified crowns. The upper attachments are removable to allow your orthodontist to adjust them according to your treatment plan. The lower attachments are irremovable because they are fixed to your molars.