Types of Appliances
A palatal expander is a device used to widen the upper jaw when it is narrow. This makes room for the teeth and helps develop a broader, more esthetic smile. The palatal expander can be either removable or fixed (cemented in place and cannot be removed by the patient.)
Lower Lingual Holding Arch (Space Maintainer)
A space maintainer is designed to maintain the position of the lower molars as the baby teeth in front of them are replaced with permanent teeth. Sometimes it is used to prevent space closure when baby teeth are removed early due to decay or improper eruption. Depending on the bite, it may also be used to hold onto space that can later be used to relieve crowding of the lower front teeth. The appliance is cemented in place and cannot be removed by the patient.
The bite plate is designed to correct a deep bite (when the upper front teeth come down too far over the lower front teeth). For optimal results, the bite plate must be worn 24 hours a day and only removed for brushing.
Pendulum (Distalizing Appliance)
The Distalizing appliance is specially designed to move upper teeth farther back in the mouth to help correct the bite. This appliance is cemented in place and cannot be removed by the patient.
This appliance deters thumb (or another finger) sucking and tongue-thrust habits. It is cemented in place and usually stops the habit in the first couple of months.
The Hawley is a stabilizing appliance which is usually used after orthodontic treatment is completed. A patient is typically given two retainers, one for the upper, and one for the lower teeth. Retainers are designed to help ensure that your wonderful smile and all the beautifully aligned teeth stay exactly that way and do not shift or change (relapse).
Essix retainers are made of clear plastic which is molded to the teeth, similar to Invisalign trays. They are usually used after orthodontic treatment is completed to maintain the position of the teeth.
Lower Bonded Retainer
A wire is cemented directly to the inside surface of your lower teeth. The lower bonded retainer supports the alignment of your lower front teeth and is not removable.