Appliances

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Headgear | Nance Appliance | Distal Jet Appliance | Lip Bumpers | Herbst Appliance | Frankel Appliance | Orthognathic Appliance | Pendex Appliance | Mouthguards

Headgear

headger.jpgHeadgear often is used to correct an excessive overbite. This is done by placing pressure against the upper teeth and jaw, which would hold the teeth in position or help move them into better positions. The severity of the case determines the length of time headgear needs to be worn. The key to success with your headgear appliance is consistency. Headgear must be worn a certain number of hours per day and, if not, it must be made up the following day.

Headgear should never be worn while playing sports and also should be removed while eating or brushing your teeth.


Nance Appliance

nanceappliance.jpgThe Nance Appliance is used to prevent upper molars from rotating or moving forward after you’ve worn headgear, a Wilson’s arch or any other appliance to move your molars back. Some patients wear the Nance Appliance while they are awaiting their bicuspids to grow into place.

The appliance is made of two bands that are cemented onto the first molars and a wire spans the roof of the mouth from one molar to the other. An acrylic pad or “button” covers the wire that touches the roof of your mouth directly behind your front teeth.

Patients always should brush around the bands daily. Do not eat sticky, chewy candy because it can loosen your appliance.


Distal Jet Appliance

The Distal Jet Appliance is a non-removable lingual appliance that is used to move upper teeth backward faster and more predictably than headgear. The Distal Jet distalizes molars and corrects teeth that have rotated. This appliance corrects class II problems.

The Distal Jet Appliance uses a solid track wire and two sets of locking screws on each side. The appliance is self-limiting by design because it has a distal stop attached to the tracking wire. The Distal Jet can be converted to a Nance Appliance by tightening the distal and anterior locks against the track wire and adding a Nance holding arch.


Lip Bumpers

We like to avoid pulling teeth as often as possible, so we use lip bumpers on our patients who need to create more room for their crowded teeth. The lip bumper is a wire on the lower jaw that extends from one molar to another and keeps lips and cheeks from touching your teeth. When you move your mouth or speak, your lips and cheeks push on the bumper, and the bumper applies pressure to the teeth. This pressure pushes the molars back, creating more space for overcrowded teeth.

If you have a lip bumper, please remember to leave it in while eating, but do not eat hard or sticky foods. Proper, thorough brushing should remove any food that gets stuck in your lip bumper.


Herbst Appliance

herbst.jpgOne of the most common problems dentists treat is the discrepancy that occurs when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower. Ordinarily, when we see a patient with the upper teeth protruding, we tend to think that the upper jaw and teeth are too far forward; but, more often than not, this condition is due to a small lower jaw that is farther back than it should be. With these patients, we would like to encourage the lower jaw to catch up in growth, and braces such as the Herbst Appliance help this happen.

Even though the Herbst Appliance prevents the lower jaw from moving backward, opening and closing movement still occur easily, and patients do not have any problems learning to chew their food with their lower jaw in this new position.

As with all kinds of braces, patients with Herbst Appliances need to be careful about what they eat. For instance, cold foods such as ice slushes, Popsicles and ice will freeze the cement and make the brace loosen. Sticky foods such as caramels, bubble gum and candy suckers will pull the brace away from the teeth. Hard foods such as crisp vegetables and hard candies will bend and loosen the Herbst Appliance, too. So stay away from these foods during your orthodontic treatment.

Your Herbst Appliance will be checked and adjusted at your appointments. If, sometimes between appointments, you develop sore areas on the inside of your cheeks, please do not try to adjust the appliance yourself. Call for an appointment so that the necessary adjustments can be made.

Wearing a Herbst Appliance

At first, your mouth will feel unusually full and speaking will be awkward. But if you practice reading aloud, your ordinary speech will return quickly. You also may notice more saliva than normal, but this will decrease as you become accustomed to the appliance.


Frankel Appliance

The Frankel Appliance is a functional orthopedic appliance that is used to help create additional space for permanent teeth to erupt by expanding the arches. It stimulates growth of the lower jaw which will better align the upper and lower teeth. The Frankel also can be used to help with protrusion or overjet by retracting the upper teeth and creating a better bite.

Frankel Appliances typically are worn full time for 18 to 24 months and possibly longer if the permanent teeth have not fully erupted.


Orthognathic Appliance

An orthognathic appliance, or growth appliance, is used to correct discrepancies in the growth patterns of the jaws and/or cleft palate. There are a number of different growth appliances available to correct these problems. Certain appliances are designed to gently encourage the upper palate to expand, allowing for more room for the permanent teeth to grow in, while others are designed to correct overbites that occur because of growth problems. Orthognathic (growth) appliances are designed to create more room for incoming permanent teeth, promote a better bite and/or enhance the facial profile. They are sometimes used for less complex cases that do not require orthognathic surgery.


Pendex Appliance

The Pendex Appliance is a Pendulum Appliance that uses an expansion screw to widen the upper palate, correcting class II malocclusions and the patient’s bite.

The Pendex Appliance consists of a plastic “button” that touches the roof of the mouth. Within this button, there is a keyhole where you are to place the key and turn it according to your dentist’s instructions. This turning will widen the appliance, thus widening your upper palate. Patients usually wear this appliance for three to six months.


Mouthguards

A properly fitted mouthguard is an important piece of athletic gear that can protect your mouth and cushion blows that might otherwise cause broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw. While custom mouthguards are considered by many to be the most protective option, other mouthguards can be effective if they fit well, are worn properly and stay in place. The primary mouthguard types include:

  • Performance Mouthwear (Under Armour)
  • The custom-fitted mouthguard made by your dentist
  • The mouth-formed, “boil-and-bite” mouthguard

Athletic mouthguards should fit properly, be durable and easy to clean, and not restrict your speech or breathing. Generally, a mouthguard covers only the upper teeth, but in some cases the dentist will make a mouthguard for the lower teeth as well.

Like any other sports gear, a mouthguard will wear out, making it less effective. If your mouthguard has holes or tears, or if it becomes loose, it can irritate the teeth and oral tissues. Occasionally check the mouthguard’s condition and replace it as necessary.

Information gathered from ADA sources.

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