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Orthodontic Appliances - Cleburne, TX

Advanced Prosthetics for Patients

Little girl holding oral appliance

In addition to traditional braces and clear aligner systems, we can also use a variety of other orthodontic appliances to correct issues with the alignment of the teeth and jaws. They can help address very specific problems so we don’t have to use more involved treatments, or they may be combined with other treatments in order to ensure their success. In any case, if we determine that you or your child needs one of these appliances, it will always be custom-made to make sure it is as effective and comfortable as possible.

Herbst Jaw Growth Appliance

The Herbst Positioner is a small appliance that fits inside the mouth and positions the lower jaw forward in order to correct an overbite and improve the profile. It can be used either on its own or in addition to full orthodontic treatment.

Hilgers Pendulum Appliance

This particular device can be used to address an overbite, which means that the lower teeth are too far behind the upper teeth. It is a small, appliance that is secured to the upper teeth and moves the upper molars to their correct position. This will not only make the bite line up properly, but it can also help/prevent any crowding of the teeth along the upper arch.

Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)

If a child’s upper jaw is quite narrow or underdeveloped, then their mouth might actually be too small to fit all of their teeth. Over time, this might mean that certain teeth need to be extracted in order to prevent crowding or impacting. With an RPE, we can slowly increase the size of the hard palate (roof of the mouth) so that the adult teeth have plenty of room and the bite comes together evenly. Upper jaw expansion frequently improves the nasal airway and the patient’s ability to breathe through their nose.

Schwartz Appliance

If a patient’s lower jaw is too narrow to fit all of their teeth, this can lead to crowding as well as bite problems, both of which can be fixed with a Schwartz Appliance. This is a removable device that is held in place with rings around the lower molars. Gradually, with the use of a small key, the device will slowly expand and cause the lower jaw to do the same, giving the teeth plenty of room so they can be properly aligned.

Temporary Anchorage Device (TAD’s)

TAD’s are very small (usually 1.5 mm to 2.0 mm in diameter) specially engineered titanium screws which are placed in your gum and jaw bone and act as an anchor point to assist with the movement of your teeth. Local anesthesia is used to make the placement of the TAD painless. TAD’s are useful for moving teeth in a way that you could otherwise not accomplish without them.

Thumb Sucking

Most young children will suck their thumb at some point in their life, and fortunately, most will also grow out of it. Others, however, will need a little encouragement. Sucking the thumb for an extended period of time can negatively affect a child’s oral development, so to help them break this habit, we can place a small appliance in their mouth that actually prevents them from doing it. Eventually, the child will stop on their own, and the appliance can be removed.

TMJ Therapy

The TMJ is actually the name for the joints in your jaw that allow it to move freely whenever you eat, speak, laugh, or yawn. Often, it can develop problems due to a misalignment of the bite, which can cause a wide array of symptoms like a stiff, painful jaw, chronic headaches, earaches, and even neck and shoulder pain. This kind of issue is called a TMJ disorder, or TMD, and luckily, Dr. Hart can use orthodontics to correct the problem and provide the relief patients need. In some occasions a night guard is necessary.

Retainers

After we have used an orthodontic treatment to straighten the teeth, whether it consisted of braces or a clear aligner system, a patient will need to wear an orthodontic appliance in order to maintain their new smile. This will usually be a kind of retainer that a patient will need to wear full-time immediately after the treatment and then only at night after a certain period of time. Retainers are generally small plastic and that are designed to sit comfortably in the mouth and ensure the newly shifted teeth stay in their proper positions. Continued wear of retainers is very important for maintaining your straight and beautiful smile!

Dentofacial Orthopedics – (Herbst Positioning Appliance, Reverse Pull Headgear, etc.)

While most people know that orthodontics can help correct alignment problems of the teeth, most are unaware that it can also be used to alter the underlying bone structure of the face using something called dentofacial orthopedics. Often, perceived misalignments of the teeth, whether this refers to an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, is actually caused by an underdevelopment of one of the jaws. In order to correct this kind of issue, dentofacial orthopedics can be applied to guide the development of the jaw in order to ensure the proper alignment of the teeth and bite.

In most cases, this approach is more effective for young children as their jawbone has not completely developed yet. Dentofacial orthopedics are often used in tandem with other orthodontic treatments in order to properly align the teeth as well as the bite, and often, they can help a patient avoid the need for invasive jaw surgery.

If you or your child have crooked, crowded, or gapped teeth, the best thing to do is contact Hart Orthodontics in order to have a full evaluation. With this, Dr. James Hart will be able to inform you of your treatment options and whether or not you’ll need an appliance. In the end, they are just another way our team can give you a stunning smile. If you have any questions about these appliances, be sure to give us a call today.