Posted on 3/25/2020 by Harry L. Dougherty DDS, MS
|In most cases, orthodontics involves moving teeth into a more proper position using braces or aligners. However, there are multiple other devices that can be effective for correcting an improper bite. These devices are also referred to as functional appliances.
Some devices are fixed in your mouth similar to braces, while others can be removed. Each device works by repositioning your lower jaw and are most effective when utilized while your jaw is still developing during puberty. However, some devices will also work for adults.
Commonly Used Orthodontic Devices Other than Braces or Aligners
There are several types of bionators, all of which are designed to shift your lower jaw forward, correcting top teeth that protrude too far from your lower teeth, known as an overjet. Bionators are removable and are made of acrylic, with the upper part resting behind your front teeth and a lower part that touches your bottom teeth, causing your lower teeth to move forward.
Twin Block Appliance
A twin block appliance functions similarly to a bionator. However, it consists of two parts, making it less cumbersome and more comfortable to wear. The top piece connects to the upper teeth with flexible wires, and the lower piece connects to the lower teeth in a similar fashion. When your jaw is closed, the 2 parts should meet and move the lower jaw forward. Most twin block appliances are removable but can be fixed when required. Additionally, a twin block appliance can be used in conjunction with springs, clasps or expansion devices to further customize their function.
The Herbst appliance is typically fixed to the top of your molars, with a small rod and tube extending down to connect to the bottom teeth and act as shock absorbers. Due to a constant pressure on your lower jaw, the Herbst appliance generally offers a noticeable effect in a relatively short period of time and is typically worn for around 12 months. You can eat and speak normally while wearing the Herbst appliance, but you may experience some minor discomfort when first wearing the device.
If you have concerns about an improper bite, you have several options for treatment. Contact our office anytime to schedule a consultation.
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