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orthodontic appliances

What Orthodontic Appliances Are Used For Jaw Correction?

May 01 2018

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Many children and adults are often afraid and confused when visiting the orthodontic office because of the unfamiliar orthodontic appliances we use. Getting to know the tools and how they help will ease your mind. In this article, we will introduce to you the devices we use to adjust the jaws. This specialization for jaw correction is called dentofacial orthopedics.

Who is Dentofacial Orthopedics For?

orthodontic appliances The American Association of Orthodontists recommends dentofacial orthopedic treatment for children during developmental stages, between 8 and 12 years of age. Treatment can also be for adults who experience dental changes in their lives. Common jaw alignment issues that need treatment are:
  • Malocclusions
  • Crossbite
  • Overbite
  • Protrusion of upper teeth
  • Underdeveloped lower jaw

Jaw-Correcting Orthodontic Appliances

Jaw-correcting appliances come either as fixed or removable devices. Fixed orthodontic appliances are glued to the patients teeth with cement. Removable appliances can be taken off but require the patient to be compliant and wear them as instructed. During the adjustment period, you may feel slight discomfort but adhering to the treatment plan is important. It not only gives you the best results, but can also shorten your treatment timeframe. Keep this in mind to stay motivated! Common appliances for correcting jaw growth problems include:
  • Headgear: This removable piece helps your jaw and teeth grow into an ideal position by applying pressure to the upper teeth and maxilla. The headgear is made of a stainless steel facebow and fabric safety strap. Metal bands are fixed to your upper-back teeth where you attach the facebow. The safety strap circles your head and secures the facebow.
  • Herbst® Appliance: Herbst appliance are used to remove an overbite. We attach permanent metal pieces to your upper and lower molars to hold the mandible forward. With expansion screws, the Herbst can also be used to widen your jaw.
  • Mara: This appliance reduces overbite by pushing the mandible forward. Crowns are placed on your top and bottom molars, and a metal elbow connects the crowns.
  • Bite Corrector: Combined with braces, a bite corrector adjusts different malocclusions. Metal bars with enclosed springs apply pressure to both the upper and lower jaws. The placement of such bars will depend on the bite type.
  • Bionator: This removable appliance guides the lower jaw to grow in proportion to the upper jaw and align your bite.
  • Palatal Expansion: Palatal expansions are used for fixing crossbites. The appliance attaches to the upper-back teeth and widens the jaw. It can be fixed or removable.
Once these appliances are in place, you will get used to the feeling within a month. The adjustment period is easier when you follow the treatment plan. It takes an average of 12 months to correct jaw issues, so expect to see a more beautiful smile in about a year.

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