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Types of Appliances

Archwire - A metal wire which is attached to your brackets to move your teeth.

Bands - Bands are a ring of metal, which fit around the molars and sometimes premolars. The bands are selected from a range of sizes in order to find the tightest fitting band. The bands are sealed in position using dental cement that contains fluoride to prevent any decalcification during treatment.

Bionator - A Bionator is a functional appliance resembling a retainer. It is often prescribed when a patient has a mismatch of dental arches resulting from a smaller lower jaw. It is used to stimulate growth of the lower jaw in actively growing patients.

Biteplate - A Biteplate is a removable appliance similar to a retainer that is used to correct a deepbite or to help correct a crossbite.

Brackets - Brackets are the small metal or ceramic modules attached to each tooth. They serve as guides to move the teeth and hold the archwire in place.

Buccal Tube - A small metal part that is welded on the outside of a molar band. The molar band contains slots to hold archwires, lip bumpers, facebows and other things your orthodontist uses to move your teeth.

Chain - A stretchable plastic chain used to hold archwires into brackets and to move teeth.

Distal Jet - The Distal Jet is an appliance used on the upper teeth to fix a Class II bite (upper teeth forward of the lower teeth). The Distal Jet sits on the palate of the mouth and is banded to the molars. A spring attached to the acrylic body of the Distal Jet applies continuous force to the molars. This force is what moves the teeth to the back of the mouth. The treatment time for the Distal Jet is shorter than for other appliances that do the same job because it is a fixed appliance and maintains continual force against the teeth.

Elastics - Elastics or rubber bands for braces help move the upper and lower teeth relative to each other, ultimately achieving a better bite. The orthodontic rubber bands are typically effective for correcting overbites, underbites, or other types of alignments of the jaw. They are also useful for moving a tooth out of alignment or to close a space in the mouth.

Expander - The Bonded Upper Expander is constructed with a palatal expansion screw whose metal arms are soldered to wire framework. The framework encircles all of the posterior teeth and supports the acrylic posterior bite plane. The Bonded Upper Expander is a way to widen a narrow upper jaw.

Fixed Retainer - Fixed retainers consist of a metal wire bonded to the back of the teeth. Fixed retainers can stay in place indefinitely.

Forsus - The Forsus appliance is an orthodontic appliance that is affixed to the teeth. Springs mounted on the side of the appliance force the lower jaw forward upon closure of the jaws retraining the bite and correcting a Class II problem.

Frankel - A Frankel is a functional appliance used to alter the growth of the jaws by changing the function of facial muscles.

Herbst - The Herbst Appliance is a functional appliance used in some growing patients to stimulate growth of the lower jaw.

Invisalign - Invisalign® is a series of clear, removable teeth aligners that both orthodontists and dentists use as an alternative to traditional metal dental braces.

Ligating Module - A small plastic piece, shaped like a donut, which is used to hold the archwires in the brackets on your teeth.

Lingual Arch - A lingual arch is an orthodontic device which connects two molars in the upper or lower dental arch.

Lip Bumper - A Lip Bumper is a removable appliance used in growing children to create and maintain the space necessary to accommodate the adult teeth without extraction. The lip bumper harnesses the natural forces of the muscles surrounding the lower teeth to broaden and lengthen the dental arch. By keeping the lip pressure away from the lower front teeth, the tongue pressure is allowed to gradually move the front teeth forward to "unravel" or align the crooked teeth. The constant pressure of the lower lip against the front pad of the lip bumper exerts a force that gently pushes the molar teeth backward. The lip bumper will gradually "stretch" the dental arch to make room for the erupting adult teeth.

Mara - A Mara is a fixed appliance consisting of metal caps and small, hook-like devices. The hooks impact during the bite to drive the lower jaw forward retraining the bite and correcting a Class II problem.

Mouth Guard - A device that is used to protect your mouth from injury when you are participating in sports. The use of a mouth guard is especially important for orthodontic patients, to prevent injuries.

Nance - The Nance button is utilized to hold teeth in position to allow for the movement of other teeth. The impact of the button on the lower palate creates force on the back molars.

Palatal Expander - A palatal expander, also known as a rapid palatal expander, rapid maxillary expansion appliance, palate expander or orthodontic expander, is used to widen the upper jaw so that the bottom and upper teeth will fit together better.

Pendex - This appliance is made of acrylic and wires. It sits on the top of your mouth. It is attached by wires that are bonded to your first premolars and by wire arms that insert into upper first molar bands that have been cemented to your teeth. The purpose of the Pendex appliance is to push your first molars back, creating space in the upper.

Quad Helix - The Quad Helix is checked and expanded approximately once every six to eight weeks. After the expansion is complete, the Quad Helix will remain in the mouth until the expansion is stable. Patients may feel mild discomfort for a couple of days. The tongue and cheeks have to make adjustments to the new appliance. Speaking and eating will require patience and time getting used to your appliance. Avoid hard foods and sticky foods. You will be able to clean your teeth and Quad Helix with your regular toothbrush.

Removable Retainer - A gadget that the orthodontist gives you to wear after your braces are removed. The retainer attaches to your upper and / or lower teeth and holds them in the correct position while your jaw hardens, and your teeth get strongly attached to your jaw. At first, you wear the retainer 24 hours a day, and then only at night.

Schwarz - The Schwarz Appliance is a functional appliance used to expand the upper dental arch by stimulating growth of the bone's width. Once widened, the suture knits together. The Schwarz Appliance is prescribed only prior to completion of growth. It is adjusted daily as instructed, until the palate has been widened enough. It is then left in place for about four months without further adjustment while the bone fills the center palatal suture and healing occurs.

Separators - Separators are tiny rubber bands or springs that your orthodontist places between your back teeth. These separators prepare your mouth for braces by creating a small gap between these teeth. This space allows for the placement of a metal band around your molar, which anchors your braces in your mouth.

Spring Aligner - An appliance that can be used on both arches for minor rotation and correction of anterior alignment.

Thumb Crib - This simple device is given to address severe thumb/finger sucking habit. It involves using a fixed wire crib attached to two back braces.

Transpalatal Bar - The Transpalatal Bar (TPA) is a fixed appliance that is attached to bands on the upper molar teeth. The bar that sits across the roof of the palate fits into a soldered clip located on the bands.

Twin Block - The Twin Block is made up of an upper and lower plate, which work together to correct the bite. It is like wearing two appliances, one of which fits the upper jaw while the other fits the lower. These two pieces work together to bring the lower jaw forward.