Rapid Palatal Expander
Attached to the upper molars, the Rapid Palatal Expander is an orthodontic device used to create a wider space in the upper jaw. It is typically used when the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw (a crossbite) or when the upper teeth are crowded or blocked out of the dental arch.
When patients are still growing, their connective tissue between the left and right halves of their upper jaw is very responsive to expansion. By simply activating the expander through turning a screw in the centre with a special key we provide, gradual outward pressure is placed on the left and right halves of the upper jaw. This pressure causes an increased amount of bone to grow between the right and left halves of the jaw, ultimately resulting in an increased width.
It is important to maintain good oral hygiene while wearing the Rapid Palatal Expander. Patients should brush around the appliance as per their regular schedule.
The Quad Helix is a fixed orthodontic appliance used for upper arch expansion. Bands are cemented to your back molars to keep the appliance in place while four helix springs help widen the arch. This appliance is ideal for patients with crowding in the upper arch or to correct a posterior crossbite. It is important to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen while wearing the Quad Helix. Patients should brush around and under the appliance and also floss and rinse thoroughly to remove any food particles.
The Forsus appliance is used in order to help move the upper molars back while moving the lower teeth forward. Composed of a spring coil rod, the appliance is used while a patient is currently wearing braces. It runs from the upper first molar band down to the lower archwire.
You may notice some discomfort initially, so we recommend a soft food diet for the first few days after the appliance is placed. Regular anti-inflammatory medication may help with any pain, if needed. It is important to keep the appliance clean; you may do this by carefully brushing the coil and other metal pieces of the appliance.
If your Forsus appliance breaks, please contact our office to schedule a repair appointment.
One of the most common problems orthodontics treat is the discrepancy that occurs when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower. 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 would like to encourage the lower jaw to catch up in growth, and an orthodontic appliance like the Xbow™ (or Crossbow) appliance help this happen.
The Xbow™ is used to treat Class II malocclusions in children and teens. Even though the Xbow™ appliance prevents the lower jaw from moving backward, opening and closing movement still occur easily, and patients do not have any problems learning to chew their food with their lower jaw in this new position.
Temporary Anchorage Devices (TAD's)
One of the many important advances in orthodontics has been the development of temporary anchorage devices, or TADs. Made of a bio-compatible titanium alloy, TADs are miniscrew anchors which are inserted into specific places in the mouth to be used as a fixed point from which teeth can move. Before TADs, orthodontists who wanted to move some teeth while keeping others still, or to achieve orthodontic movement in a mouth with missing teeth, had to rely on headgear for their fixed point. But TADs now provide an option for that fixed point that is smaller, more discrete, more efficient and requires significantly less work for the patient.
Temporary anchorage devices may not be recommended for everyone, and in fact, anchorage devices at all may not be needed in all cases. Contact us if you'd like to know more about TADs and how they can potentially prevent you from needing orthodontic headgear.
Soft Tissue Laser
We use a soft tissue laser in our practice for soft tissue (gum) procedures. The lasers are narrow beams of light energy that can penetrate the tissue, producing the ability to vaporize, remove or shape soft tissues. This can be especially helpful in orthodontics when there are teeth that have yet to erupt from the gums that need to be moved in order for treatment to progress in a timely fashion. With these soft tissue lasers, we can quickly and comfortably remove the gum tissue around the tooth so that it can move into proper position.
Nance Space Maintainer
The Nance Space Maintainer is generally used to prevent the upper molars from moving forward while waiting for the rest of their adult teeth to grow into place.
The appliance is made of two bands that are cemented onto the first molars and a wire spans the roof of the mouth from one molar to the other. An acrylic pad or "button" covers the wire that touches the roof of your mouth directly behind your front teeth.
Patients should always brush around the bands daily. Do not eat sticky, chewy candy as it can loosen your appliance.
Lower Lingual Arch
A Lower Lingual Arch acts as a space maintainer to keep the lower molars from drifting forward, and prevent them from blocking the space where permanent teeth will eventually erupt. This appliance is commonly used in cases of premature loss of baby teeth.
Avoid sticky or hard foods, and please monitor how many foods you eat that are high in sugar. Brushing and flossing daily is very important. Be sure to clean around the bands that are connected to the molars and the wire on the tongue side.
The duration of wear varies. Generally, the Lower Lingual Arch is removed following the eruption of all the permanent teeth.
Thumb/Finger Habit Appliance
Sucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Children usually cease thumb sucking when the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Typically, children stop between the ages of 2 and 4 years. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of primary teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth. If you notice prolonged and/or vigorous thumb sucking behavior in your child, talk to your dentist.
One solution to thumb sucking is an appliance called a "fixed palatal crib." This appliance is put on the child's upper teeth by an orthodontist. It's placed behind on the upper teeth on the roof of the mouth. The crib consists of semicircular stainless steel wires that are fastened to molars using steel bands. The crib usually stops the habit of thumb sucking within the first month of use.
Tongue Thrusting Appliance
Tongue thrusting occurs when the patient presses his or her tongue against the front teeth, usually when swallowing, speaking or resting the tongue. If thrusting is constant, this can cause problems with teeth alignment and must be fixed.
We prefer to correct tongue thrusting by giving patients a tongue thrusting appliance.