A palatal expander (Hyrax appliance) is a device used to widen the upper jaw when it is narrow. This makes room for the teeth and helps develop a broader, more esthetic smile.
The headgear (night brace) is usually recommended when there is a discrepancy in the growth of the two jaws. This results in the teeth and bone of one jaw being ahead of the opposing one. More commonly, we see a prominent upper jaw/ deficient lower jaw, resulting in the upper teeth protruding ahead of the lower ones, creating an excess overjet. When used as directed, the headgear helps reduce/correct the discrepancy between the upper and lower jaws. Usually, braces are needed for full correction, but proper use of the headgear will reduce the likelihood that permanent teeth will be pulled during the braces process and improve the final result achieved with braces.
A Reverse Pull Headgear is an appliance used to reduce/correct the discrepancy when the lower jaw is ahead of the upper one. The concept behind this appliance is to utilize the flexibility of the sutures of the upper jaw and pull it forward, thus reducing/eliminating the underbite. It is usually combined with an expander to widen the upper jaw. Since the growth of the lower jaw continues long after the upper jaw has stopped growing, this condition tends to get more severe with growth. The prognosis depends on patient co-operation with the headgear and the extent of future growth.
This is a device used in cases of pre-mature loss of baby teeth to maintain space for permanent teeth that have not yet erupted. If a space maintainer is not inserted when indicated, the adjacent teeth tend to tilt and drift into the empty space resulting in impaction/ectopic eruption of the underlying permanent tooth/teeth.
In certain cases, correction of mild to moderate anterior mal-alignment can be achieved using removable retainer-type devices known as spring aligners. If this is an option, it will be discussed during the consultation visit.
Teeth have a tendency to rebound to their original position after orthodontic treatment. This is called relapse. Very severe problems have a higher tendency to relapse. After appliance removal, a retainer is placed to minimize relapse. Retainers can be removable or fixed, each has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. Full cooperation in wearing these appliances well will ensure that your teeth do not shift and you keep your beautiful smile.
The Herbst appliance reduces overbite by encouraging the lower jaw forward and the upper molars backward. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 12-15 months.