Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)
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.
Braces have one aim: to use gentle pressure to move teeth into proper alignment. Aside from improving your smile, braces also offer many oral health advantages, and may even improve your general health! Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean and more resistant to gum disease. Our office offers several types of braces for your convenience. Our patients especially love their ceramic braces and Invisalign®, the latest in invisible braces.
Once we remove your braces, we move into the retention phase of your treatment. Your retainer stabilizes the new position of your teeth. It is important that you wear your retainer as instructed so you can achieve the maximum benefits of your treatment. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth. If your retainer breaks at any time during treatment, please do not adjust it yourself. Call us immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.
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 encourage the lower jaw to catch up in growth, and the Herbst appliance helps this to happen as it prevents the lower jaw from moving backward. 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.
The twin block is a functional appliance used in cases where a patient’s upper jaw is larger than the lower, causing the upper front teeth to protrude ahead of the lower. The appliance pushes the lower jaw forward, while restricting growth of the upper jaw. In addition, tooth movement occurs, correcting the bite. The twin block consists of two removable parts (upper and lower). It should be worn 24 hours a day. After eating, brush the appliance using cold water. Never place the appliance in hot water or use a denture cleaner.
The Distal Jet Appliance is a non-removable lingual appliance that is used to move upper teeth backward faster and more predictably than headgear. The Distal Jet distalizes molars and corrects teeth that have rotated. This appliance corrects Class II problems.
The Distal Jet Appliance uses a solid track wire and two sets of locking screws on each side. The appliance is self-limiting by design because it has a distal stop attached to the tracking wire. The Distal Jet can be converted to a Nance Appliance by tightening the distal and anterior locks against the track wire and adding a Nance holding arch.
Sucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Children usually cease thumb sucking when the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of primary teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth.
One solution to thumb sucking is an appliance called a “fixed palatal crib.” This appliance is placed behind the upper teeth on the roof of the mouth. The crib consists of semicircular stainless steel wires that are fastened to molars using steel bands. The stainless steel wires fit behind the child’s upper front teeth, and they are barely visible. The crib usually stops the habit of thumb sucking within the first day of use.
A tongue crib appliance is suitable for patients that thrust their tongue in a forward position, as it quickly redirects the tongue to a more normal position. Generally, the appliance will usually impede the habit within the first couple of months it is worn.