Fixed and Removable Appliances
- Braces — the most common fixed appliances, braces consist of bands, wires and/or brackets. Bands are fixed around the teeth or tooth and used as anchors for the appliance, while brackets are most often bonded to the front of the tooth. Arch wires are passed through the brackets and attached to the bands. Tightening the arch wire puts tension on the teeth, gradually moving them to their proper position. Braces are usually adjusted every 6-8 weeks to bring about the desired results, which may be achieved within a few months to a few years. Today’s braces are smaller, lighter and show far less metal than in the past. They come in bright colors for kids as well as clear styles preferred by many adults.
- Palatal Expander — a device used to widen the arch of the upper jaw. Outward pressure applied to the expander by screws force the joints in the bones of the palate to open lengthwise, widening the palatal area.
- Habit Appliances — used to control thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, these appliances are attached to the upper first molars by bands and have a crib or “cage” on the palate to eliminate the habit.
Fixed space maintainers — if a baby tooth is lost prematurely, a space maintainer is used to keep the space open until the permanent tooth erupts. A band is attached to the tooth next to the empty space, and a wire is extended to the tooth on the other side of the space.
- Lower Lingual Holding Arch- (LLHA) is frequently used as a space maintainer for the lower teeth. In such a case a LLHA maintains the molar position. LLHA and TPA can also be used to stabilize molar position in the attempt to avoid side effects that can take place during orthodontic therapy. As a space maintainer LLHA is frequentely used in cases where an early loss of the second deciduous molar takes place. In such a case LLHA prevents the permanent molars from migrating mesially (forward) thus blocking off the eruption space for the premolar teeth. LLHA is also used in order to maintain the so-called “Leeway space”, which is the extra space available in the arch when the deciduous molars are exfoliated and replaced by smaller permanent premolars.
- Inviasalign Aligners — an alternative to traditional braces for adults, serial aligners are being used by an increasing number of orthodontists to move teeth in the same way that fixed appliances work, only without metal wires and brackets. Aligners are virtually invisible and are removed for eating, brushing and flossing.
- Removable retainers — Worn both upper and lower, these devices prevent shifting of the teeth to their previous position.
- Nightbrace — Headgear appliances are composed of a facebow and a strap that goes around the back of the neck. It provides a continuous light force that is necessary to aid in correction of the patient’s skeletal growth and dental development. Because most of the body’s growth occurs at night the greatest degree of wear is during those hours.
Protraction Face Mask- This is an orthodpedic appliance to enhance forward growth of the upper jaw when there is a maxillary deficiency present (underdeveloped upper jaw)