Here are the most common styles and how they are used.
The Expander is for patients whose upper jaw is narrow. The palatal expander “expands” (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars and stretching the centre palatal connective suture (the space between the two halves of the upper jaw) each time an adjustment is made. To achieve bone expansion, the Expander is used only prior to completion of growth.
We will show you, the parent or the patient, how to adjust the Expander daily until the palate has been widened enough. It is then left in place for about 10-12 months without further adjustment while new bone fills the suture and healing occurs.
One of the most common problems orthodontists treat is the discrepancy that occurs when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower, or a Class II malocclusion. 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 like to encourage the lower jaw to catch up in growth, and we use a Class II bite correcting appliance to help this happen.
Here are the four most popular appliances and a brief description of how they are used:
Separators are little rubber doughnuts that may be placed between your teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands for appliances may be placed during your next appointment. The separators will be removed before we place the bands. Sometimes they are used to push teeth apart to let new ones erupt properly. Separators do not mix well with sticky foods, toothpicks or floss.
Mini-implants or temporary anchorage devices (TADs) are simple, small screws that are placed in the jaws to facilitate tooth movements during orthodontics. Often this tooth movement occurs in a manner that could not be accomplished with only traditional orthodontic mechanisms, or would require alternative treatments like head-gear, extractions or surgery and longer, more complex treatment mechanisms. The placement of a mini-implant is a brief, minimally-invasive process that has three parts: anaesthesia, placement, and attachment of orthodontic forces. There is minimal discomfort or problems with mini-implants and orthodontic treatment results can be significantly enhanced. TADs are exceptionally helpful little tools when needed.
Retainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened. Our team will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and how long you will need to wear it. Wearing your retainer as directed is vital to prevent relapse of your treatment. We believe in long term retention for a long term result.
At iSmile Orthodontics we offer a wide range of orthodontic appliances to help ensure your teeth remain healthy and straight for life. If you’re interested in any of the treatments we offer or have any questions about treatment, contact our friendly team today!