Braces are the most efficient and accurate way of moving teeth. Sequential plastic aligners can also be used to achieve good results in some cases.
These are small elastic bands. They are used to exert a gentle, continuous force for aligning one arch to the other; they may also be used in assisting space closure. There are many types of elastics, all have an animal name ie. Fox, Ostrich, Ram, Parrot etc. Each individual type of elastic has a specific purpose, when you need more please advise the name of the specific type you are using. Elastics can be positioned differently to achieve various results – it is important to wear them as instructed otherwise the required movement will not occur.
- Elastics are usually worn full time, being removed only for brushing and sometimes for eating.
- Teeth have never failed to move when elastics are worn consistently as directed.
- However, if elastics are worn one day and left off the next, the teeth will set up resistance that will slow or stop progress.
- Discomfort is also increased with stop / start wear
- Soreness will differ for individuals – may last for the first few days, take your usual method of pain relief as required
- Elastics are changed once each day or if they break, as this maintains a certain pressure and strength
The doctor will specify if instructions are different Remember: Consistent wear means shorter treatment time
Headgear creates forces that guide the growth of the face and jaw. It also prevents teeth from moving in an undesired direction.
It places pressure against the upper teeth and jaw to hold the teeth in position or help move them back into better positions. It can also be used as an "orthopedic" appliance, helping control the jaw growth by holding the upper jaw and allowing the lower jaw to grow forward.
Alternately it may act as an anchor for the molars in cases where an extraction of premolar teeth has occurred.
Headgear is used to assist in closing spaces and reduce front tooth protrusion in some cases. Changes to the jaw take place over an extended time period, while the patient is growing.
To produce a successful treatment result, the headgear must be worn specifically as instructed by the orthodontist (most cases require 12hrs/day). Therefore, compliance is essential.
The Herbst appliance is a fixed appliance for the period of time identified by the orthodontist.
A Herbst appliance is used to enhance forward growth of the lower jaw while applying pressure in a backward direction for the upper jaw.
Crowns are ‘glued’ to the molar teeth with a tube and rod, which work together similar to a shock absorber.
The tube and rod connect the upper and lower jaws. Opening, closing or chewing is not interrupted, however side to side movements are restricted.
Once the desired jaw growth is achieved the appliance is removed.
Removable appliances are used to move teeth with wire springs. These springs do not move teeth as accurately as braces do, so the use of removable appliances is limited to simple tooth movements, usually in children who are yet to lose all of their deciduous teeth.
The wire springs are attached to a smooth, pink, plastic supporting plate which is held securely in the mouth by wire clasps. Removable appliances are also used to maintain tooth position (see retainers), as functional appliances (see functional appliances) and as bite plates.
At the completion of active orthodontic treatment, the braces are removed and retaining appliances (retainers) are fitted to hold the teeth steady in their new position. These appliances may be removable plates or wires fitted behind the teeth. Retainers play an important role in orthodontic treatment for, if they are not worn according to instructions, the teeth may move back towards their original position. The retaining appliances are usually worn:
- Full-time for the first three weeks.
- Just at night after the first three weeks.
- To maintain the position of your beautiful teeth the retainers will need to be worn indefinitely.
RME - Rapid Maxillary Expander
RME’s are generally used expand a narrow upper arch. The RME is ‘glued’ around a back molar tooth on each side of the mouth, and removed after the expansion process has occurred and has stabilised. A key is used to turn the expander at the times directed by the orthodontist. Marking the times on a calendar and ‘ticking‘ once this has occurred allows you to record the appliance activation. It is normal for a space to suddenly appear between the front teeth, this is temporary.