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Orthodontic treatment can often be completed with braces alone.  Occasionally, additional appliances may be used for bite correction, expansion, jaw positioning, and more.  The use of orthodontic appliances is quite common and help us to achieve great results in the most efficient way.  Below are a couple of the appliances we use most often at our office.   

 

Herbst Appliance | Palatal Expander


Herbst Appliance

The Herbst appliance is quite effective at correcting a large overbite and is commonly used in our offices.  This appliance is custom-made and connects to the upper and lower back molars. The Herbst helps to bring the lower jaw forward, bringing the teeth and jaws into the ideal biting position.  It is typically worn along with braces during the first 9-12 months of orthodontic treatment.  After the bite correction has been achieved, the Herbst is removed and brackets are added to the side and back teeth and treatment continues (typically 9-12 additional months).  The Herbst appliance is most effective when used during the adolescent years, before growth slows or stops.  Achieving ideal bite correction after this time can sometimes require jaw surgery depending on the severity of the bite.

Palatal Expander

The palatal expander is a non-removable appliance used to expand or widen the upper arch.  It is commonly used during Phase One treatment (around ages 7-9) while the bone is more pliable and teeth move more easily, but it can also be effective during the adolescent years.  The expander is connected to the upper back teeth and connects in the middle of the arch with a small screw.  A special key is used to turn the screw according to specific instructions provided by Dr. Snider.  Expansion occurs gradually causing minimal discomfort. The appliance is typically worn for about 9 months and can be used with or without braces on the teeth.  

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