A Look at Orthodontic Appliances

March 18, 2015


Orthodontic treatment is varied, and every patient has different needs. One component of orthodontic treatment involves utilizing different orthodontic appliances to correct misalignments in the teeth and jaw. Different orthodontic appliances are used for different purposes in the course of treatment. While many patients undergo orthodontic treatment without needed specialized appliances, there are instances where these devices must be used temporarily to assist in the alignment process. Here is a look into some common orthodontic appliances.

Quad Helix

This is a fixed appliance that is used to expand the upper arch. For patients with crowding in the upper arch and a poor posterior crossbite, this appliance is beneficial. The device works though bands cemented to the back molars to hold the appliance in place while four helix springs aid in widening the arch. Keeping the appliance clean is very important, so regular brushing and flossing around the appliance is crucial.

Dewey Appliance

This appliance also works to add more space in the mouth for teeth alignment. The device has a u-shaped palatal arch wire with an adjustable spring to gradually shift the molars to make room for adjacent teeth alignment.

Herbst Appliance

When patients have a lower jaw that is further back than it should be, excessive overbites are a problem. This appliance facilitates jaw alignment by preventing the lower jaw from moving backward. The appliance won’t impede opening and closing, but can take some time to get used to until your mouth becomes accustomed to the device.

Temporary Anchorage Device

This device is used to anchor specific teeth for controlled movement. These appliances are used in lieu of unwieldy headgear devices to treat misalignments more efficiently. TADs are constructed from medical grade titanium alloy, and make for overall better orthodontic treatment.

RPE Appliance

This device is also used to create space in the mouth, namely by widening the upper arch to fit properly with the lower arch. This appliance typically must be worn for 3-4 months to preserve the expansion while new bone formation occurs. This appliance can be adjusted as directed by the orthodontist.

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