Learn more about all types of orthodontic appliances.
Spring retainers differ from other orthodontic appliances in that they are typically used in the maintenance of retention of orthodontic success. It can be used on its own for orthodontic treatment to help align the teeth, but orthodontists typically recommend this after braces or other appliances have been used.
Customized to the patient’s mouth using a model of the teeth, a spring retainer is also created to be flexible with the wire spring. This also allows for a more comfortable fit. You may experience some soreness while wearing the retainer – this means that the retainer is working. Remove the retainer to eat, drink and clean it.
Originally created for patients with cleft palettes, the E-Arch is used in orthodontics to adjust the upper or lower jaws in order to make space for permanent teeth. This appliance is spring loaded so the expansion of the dental arches to expand gradually. Orthodontists typically place the E-Arch – which consists of a coil spring, pin, and tube – to the molars by two bands. With the force of the spring, over time the patient will see controlled widening and success in treatment.
Temporary Anchorage Devices – or TADs – consist of small screws made of titanium (much like a dental implant) which are placed in the mouth to a fixed point. This point acts as an anchor and is used to help move other teeth nearby. Because of recent dental and orthodontic advancements, TADs have taken the place of orthodontic headgear – which were used to move only some teeth while keeping others in place. This advancement in orthodontics allows patients the ability to achieve success in a discrete way and requires much less time, work, and discomfort.
If a patient is suffering from an incorrect bite, such as an overbite, a Herbst appliance may be used. This orthodontic appliance keeps the lower jaw in place so that it cannot move backward while the upper jaw is being aligned. This appliance can take some time to get used to and patients will typically have to practice speaking and enunciating for a short time until they get used to it. Fortunately, eating is not impacted, and patients should not have any issues chewing food. The orthodontist will monitor the patient’s progress with their Herbst appliance and adjust it if needed. If a patient does feel discomfort with this appliance, it is important to call for an appointment to get it adjusted.
Similar to elastic, the Forsus appliance moves the upper molars back while simultaneously bringing the lower arch forward. The purpose of the Forsus is to help prevent the possibility of jaw surgery by correcting overbites and promoting proper dental development. Unlike other orthodontic appliances which can be installed exclusively, the Forsus is used in conjunction with braces.
By using a spring, the Forsus gradually moves the jaw and teeth into proper alignment. As with any orthodontic appliance, patients may need some time to get used to it, as it may feel kind of funny in the mouth. The Forsus also requires patients to keep from opening their mouths too wide, as the appliance may come apart. Practicing speaking and enunciating will help the adjustment period. We also recommend a soft food diet for the first few days after the appliance is placed. Our excellent orthodontic team will also teach patients the proper way to clean the appliance, by brushing the spring and coil gently.
If your Forsus appliance breaks, please contact our office immediately to schedule a repair appointment.