The Herbst appliance corrects overbites and underdeveloped lower jaws. It also improves facial profiles by increasing lower jaw growth. The appliance is placed on the upper and lower teeth and stays there until the bite is corrected (10-15 months). Fully contained within your mouth, it doesn’t show and works for you 24 hours a day.
When used correctly and in appropriate situations, Temporary Anchorage Devices, or TADs, allow patients who would have otherwise required surgery, to receive non-surgical treatment. Having been trained in the most progressive and clinically successful techniques of TAD placement, Dr. Hodnett and his team are experts at advancing your orthodontic care with these appliances.
As always, our goal at Hodnett Orthodontics is to provide excellent care with as little discomfort as possible. To minimize any discomfort during placement, a strong gel anesthetic used to numb the gum tissue will be placed with a cotton swab. Once numb, the TAD will be gently placed. The entire experience is quick and painless. The only thing that should be felt is a slight pressure as the TAD is placed; however, within a day, you will no longer be able to feel the appliance. Once your treatment has come to an end, we will remove the appliance using a similar procedure.
If you happen to feel discomfort with your TAD, over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen will resolve the soreness. However, if the pain continues or is severe, please don’t hesitate to call us; we will work quickly to resolve the issue, as you should not be experiencing any long-term discomfort with TADs.
You will provide the same care for your TAD as you will with your braces – each time you brush your teeth, gently brush on and around the TAD. This will prevent unwanted plaque buildup.
Palatal expanders, also known as simply “expanders,” are used to widen the upper jaw so that the bottom and upper teeth will fit together properly. Expanders work by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars and require periodic adjustments to ensure this pressure is continuous. Dr. Hodnett will instruct you on when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the jaw positioning and prevent regression.
- Essix Retainers – Similar to Invisalign aligners, these retainers are made from clear plastic and designed to be discreet and removable. Essix retainers are made from digital scans taken on your smile after treatment
- Hawley Retainers – Hawley retainers are also removable; however, they are made from plastic and metal rather than clear plastic. These retainers are custom-molded to fit your teeth and mouth. Wires sit over your front teeth, while loops near your canines can be adjusted once your teeth settle to their final positions.
- Fixed Retainers – Fixed, or permanent retainers, are meant to stay in place indefinitely. The thin stainless steel wire is bonded to the inside of the front 4-6 teeth, as these are the teeth that have the most tendency to shift back to their original positions.