In some cases, braces need a little help from a friend. When braces can’t do the job alone, Dr. Barysenka will recommend using an appliance. The use of an appliance will help to get you ideal results for a perfect smile!
Expanders are used to widen the upper jaw to create adequate space for permanent teeth. The expander is custom made for each individual patient, so it fits as comfortably as possible. This appliance is bonded to the molars using bands and sits across the palate. A special key will be used to “activate” the expander, by placing it in the hole and pushing towards the back of the mouth. Space will start to slowly open up between the front teeth, but don’t worry, this means the expander is doing it’s job! Once we reach ideal expansion, the expander will be stabilized and left in for six months to allow the bone to reform.
The Herbst is used when the upper jaw is too far forward compared to the lower jaw. This appliance can prevent surgery and/or extractions in some patients. It is made up of 4 bands that fit to your molars, and two metal rods that are attached to the bands. We use this appliance to encourage the lower jaw to grow and reduce overbite. The Herbst will stay in for 9-12 months on average. It’s normal for this appliance to feel a little bulky at first, but you will get used to it. You may find yourself talking funny, and it may feel strange to swallow when its placed at first. This is also normal, and we encourage you to read aloud, sing, talk a lot, and keep swallowing! The more you practice these things, the easier it will get.
The Forsus is designed to help move your teeth into their ideal position. Springs are attached to the archwire and are used to correct a patient’s overjet (space between upper and lower teeth). This appliance encourages forward movement of the lower teeth and backward movement of the upper teeth. Most of the time, this appliance is needed for patients who are not compliant with elastic wear.
Headgear is used to correct a patient’s bite and support proper jaw alignment and growth. This is typically recommended for children whose jaw bones are still growing. There are different types of headgear, but all are commonly paired with an expander. Headgear is removable and ideally worn at nighttime. It is placed in the bands on the back molars and then a strap is worn around the head or neck. This strap creates a force which is transferred to the mouth/jaw.
TAD, or Temporary Anchorage Device, is used when tooth movement is in need of that extra boost. Sometimes referred to as “Orthodontic Mini Implants,” or “OMI,” these appliances are very small screws that are placed in the bone to aid desired tooth movement. They are then hooked to braces to assist with space closure, midline correction, and bite closure. TADs are often used in place of elastics.