To successfully complete your orthodontic treatment, Dr. Maduke or Dr. Bulat may prescribe a variety of appliances that will move teeth to their corrected positions, or manipulate the growth of the jaws to allow the teeth to fit together properly.
The following paragraphs describe the types of appliances that may be used during your treatment.
Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Wearing elastics (rubber bands) improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth by meshing them together properly (the occlusion). Properly worn elastics will not only correct your bite, but will decrease your overall treatment time!
Headgear and Springs
Headgear and Froces Springs are used to treat patients whose teeth are in an “overbite,” (with the top teeth forward of the lower teeth) or an “underbite” (with the lower teeth in front of the upper teeth). Headgear can restrict or increase the natural forward growth of the upper jaw and is worn generally at night. Forces Springs are attached to braces and therefore deliver a constant force to the teeth.
Expansion appliances are appropriate for growing patients. A palatal expander widens the upper jaw with gentle pressure on the top molars and is usually activated at home once or twice a day. In non-growing individuals who require expansion of the top jaw, the expander in conjunction with surgery will allow for an excellent orthodontic result. Expanders are in place for approximately 2-4 months are which they are replaced with a permanent retainer (an upper holding arch).
These fixed (non-removable) appliances can be placed in the upper or lower jaws and are used to either prevent space loss or to maintain correction that has been achieved by another appliance, such as an expander.
Functional appliances such as the Twin Block or the Klearway reduce overbites by encouraging the lower jaw to move forward and restricting the forward growth of the upper jaw. This removable appliance is used for younger, growing children and typically work for 12-18 months. The ideal time to start a functional appliance is between 8 and 10 years of age.
This appliance is used for individuals with habits such as thumb sucking. Prior to placing a crib, we make every effort to our patients stop their habit on their own…and this is typically successful! Crib appliances are reserved for those who need a little extra help in breaking the habit.
Retainers may be removable or fixed (premanent). They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. Dr. Maduke or Dr. Bulat will teach you how to care for your retainer and how many hours per day are necessary to maintain your orthodontic result. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to prevent relapse of your treatment. Click here for more information on how to care for your retainer.