Headgear is used to improve the relationship of the jaws. This has been used for many years and it remains an incredibly reliable appliance. Most patients will only require evening and nighttime wear for headgear to work properly.
One of the most common orthodontic problems is when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower teeth. This can often be caused due to a small lower jaw that is farther back than it should be. The Herbst appliance corrects the dental relationship by bringing the lower jaw into a forward position. It fits completely in the mouth and is attached to the molars.
Many orthodontic patients have a narrow upper jaw. This means that the upper back teeth will rest inside of the lower back teeth, otherwise known as a crossbite. The Hyrax appliance is used to correct the crossbite by expanding the upper jaw. It is secured to two upper teeth and reaches across the palate.
Lower Holding Arch
A lower holding arch is used as a space maintainer. This appliance is cemented to two lower molars to hold space open for erupting teeth. It can prevent or reduce mild to moderate crowding.
Habit appliances are used to fix bad habits that may develop. Two such bad habits are thumb sucking and tongue thrusting. If the habit is severe and persistent enough, a habit appliance may be required. These appliances are usually left in place until the bad habit has stopped.
Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs)
TADs are tiny anchors that are designed to aid in tooth movement. These are essentially implants that are removed after they’ve been used for anchorage. A TAD offers a practitioner more options when it comes to moving teeth and improving the position of them.
Retainers are always used after a patient has just had his or her braces removed. The retainer is used to hold teeth in place and make sure that they don’t shift back into misalignment. Retainers can also be used to move a single tooth or just a small group of teeth that are out of alignment.