Types of Appliances
We offer a wide variety of the most sophisticated orthodontic appliances. During your initial consultation, your Hansen orthodontist will evaluate your smile and determine if you need any of the following appliances.
Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)
A Rapid Palatal Expander is used to widen the upper jaw through gentle pressure. We use an expander when the upper teeth are crowded or the upper jaw is more narrow than the lower jaw.
The upper jaw is still flexible while the patient is growing, and it can be adjusted without surgery. An expander gently pushes outward and widens the upper jaw. The jaw will adjust and fill the space with bone, creating a new jaw shape. The appliance is attached to the back molars with cement, and it is activated with a screw in the center of the appliance. We will give you a key that turns the screw and expands the appliance to apply pressure.
Braces are used to gently and slowly move your teeth into a new position. We straighten teeth with braces to improve oral health and general health. Teeth are easier to clean and maintain when they are in their proper alignment, which reduces the risk of gum disease and decay. We also straighten teeth for aesthetic purposes! Our Las Vegas office offers several types of braces like ceramic clear braces, Invisalign, traditional metal braces, and more.
After your braces come off, it’s time for a retainer. Retention is the phase of treatment that comes after braces, and it usually involves wearing a retainer to stabilize your teeth in their new place. We offer multiple types of retainers that can either be permanent or removable. We will show you your retainer options at the end of your braces treatment, and we will help you decide which is best for you.
Your orthodontist will give you instructions on how and when to wear your retainer. If your retainer is removable, then it is essential that you follow your orthodontist’s guidelines so your teeth stay perfectly straight. If your retainer bends or breaks, then come in immediately and we will fit you with a new retainer.
The twin block treats overbite and is another alternative to headgear. As the name implies, the twin block is made up of two removable pieces that push the lower jaw forward and restrict upper jaw growth. The upper piece and lower piece work together to gently push the upper and lower jaws into a new position. It is usually worn for 24 hours a day and can be removed to brush and floss your teeth.
We often treat patients with an overbite, which is when the upper teeth protrude further than the lower teeth. While it may look like the upper jaw is in the wrong place, the issue is often with the lower jaw. The lower jaw needs a chance to catch up in growth and move to the same level as the upper jaw. Orthodontists used to fix this with headgear, but we usually use the Herbst appliance. The Herbst is a metal appliance that is attached to your back teeth and it moves the lower jaw gradually into a new position by preventing it from moving backward. As with other appliances, if you have issues with your Herbst appliance between appointments, then call us immediately. We can set up an emergency orthodontist appointment to fix it.
The Distal Jet Appliance is a permanent appliance that sits on the top of your mouth, much like an expander. It moves upper teeth backward to make room for additional teeth or to correct teeth that have rotated. There are a few variations of the Distal Jet Appliance that can treat multiple issues at the same time. The Distal Jet is another advancement that is used as a headgear alternative.
Most babies suck their thumbs at some point, and many of them continue thumb sucking into childhood. Usually when the permanent teeth are about to break through, they stop sucking their thumb. If they continue sucking their thumb after their front teeth have grown in, then the mouth and teeth can get misaligned.
We can install an appliance called a fixed palatal crib that is designed to stop children from sucking their thumb. It is a grouping of metal wires that are attached to the molars. It sits on the roof of the mouth and is barely visible. It usually stops the thumb sucking habit within a day or two.
We use a tongue crib to prevent patients from tongue thrusting. Tongue thrusting can gradually move your teeth, so it is important to break the habit. In only a couple months, the tongue crib appliance will retrain the tongue to sit in a normal, relaxed position.