Orthodontic appliances are not just limited to fixed and removable braces. There are many devices available to correct jaw alignment irregularities and reposition the teeth. In some cases, traditional fixed or removable braces are used in conjunction with another type of orthodontic appliance, which serves to fulfill one of the following functions:
Expanding the palate to create space
Closing large gaps between the teeth
Correcting irregularities, such as an elongated mandible (lower jaw) bone or a short maxilla (upper jaw) bone
Alleviating crowding in the upper or lower jaw
Types of Orthodontic Appliances
Most types of orthodontic appliances treat a specific irregularity. The nature of your diagnosis points your dental professional towards the most effective treatment.
Here is a brief overview of some of the most commonly used orthodontic appliances:
Palatal expanders come in two styles: the bonded appliance and the banded appliance. These devices widen the upper arch to create room for the eruption of permanent teeth and are used to correct a narrow bite or crossbite. Palate expanders are fairly discreet and work effectively as long as the device is adjusted at the designated intervals. Some individuals experience slight difficulty speaking and eating until they have fully acclimated to the device.
Other types of orthodontic appliances include the Andresen appliance to reduce overbite, Biobloc, which works to posture the lower jaw forward, and Bass Dynamax, which also corrects malocclusion.
If you have any questions or concerns about orthodontic appliances, please contact your dental professional.