Appliances

Herbst Appliance

One of the most common problems orthodontists 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 further back than it should be. With these patients, we would like to encourage the lower jaw to catch up in growth, and appliances like 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. Patients do not have any problems learning to chew their food with their lower jaw in this new position.

The Herbst appliance offers a significant advantage over other removable appliances like the headgear. Treatment results are greatly enhanced since the Herbst is not removable.

As with all kinds of braces, patients with Herbst appliances need to be careful about what they eat. Sticky foods such as caramels, bubble gum and candy suckers will pull the appliance away from the teeth. Hard foods like 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 some 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 with time, your ordinary speech will return quickly. You may also notice more saliva than normal, but this will decrease as you become accustomed to the appliance.


Rapid Palatal Expander

Attached to the upper molars through bonding or by cemented bands, the Rapid Palatal Expander is an orthodontic device used to create a wider space in the upper jaw. It is typically used when the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw or when the upper teeth are crowded or blocked out of the dental arch.

When patients are still growing, their connective tissue between the left and right halves of their upper jaw is very responsive to expansion. By simply activating the expander through turning a screw in the center, with a special key we provide, gradual outward pressure is placed on the left and right halves of the upper jaw. This pressure causes an increased amount of bone to grow between the right and left halves of the jaw, ultimately resulting in an increased width.