In order to create your perfect smile, often appliances can be used alone or in conjunction with braces. Alone, appliances can often prepare you for a shorter time in braces. When used with braces, appliances can speed treatment time and improve overall orthodontic results. If patients follow their orthodontist's instructions and consistently wear their rubber bands, head gear or whatever their prescribed appliance may be, the ultimate smile transformation can be achieved.
Retainers may be removable or fixed. They hold your teeth in their new, correct positions after your teeth have been straightened with orthodontic treatment. Dr. Szymanowski and his staff will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and how long to wear it. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to prevent relapse into misalignment or the need for a repeated treatment.
Elastics (Rubber Bands)
Wearing elastics (rubber bands) improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth together. Wear rubber bands as instructed because the rubber bands work far more efficiently if they are worn as prescribed.
Separators (or Spacers)
Separators are little rubber doughnuts that may be placed between your teeth to push them apart so that orthodontic bands may be placed during your next appointment. The separators will be removed before we place the bands. It's important to note that separators are attracted to sticky foods, and toothpicks and floss will pop them out.
This new system provides a non-extraction method for correcting bite alignment prior to braces. The Carrière Distalizer appliance is attached to the canine or molars so it is virtually unnoticeable during everyday activities. Rubber band wear is necessary in this stage of treatment for 3-6 months, and then in-turn drastically reduces time in braces.
The palatal expander “expands” (widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. Your orthodontist will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to hold expansion and to prevent relapse.
Headgear is used to treat patients whose teeth are in an “overbite,” (with the uppers forward of the lowers) or an “underbite” (with the lowers forward of the uppers). Headgear gently “pulls” on your teeth to restrict further forward growth of your upper teeth and jaw.
The Forsus is the latest in technology for correcting class excessive overjet (upper teeth too far in front of the lower teeth). Forsus is a fixed appliance worn 24 hours a day, requiring less patient compliance than traditional rubber bands or head gear.
TAD (Temporary Anchorage Device)
A TAD (Temporary Anchorage Device) is a miniature screw that we position in the mouth. It serves as an anchor for moving specific teeth in the most controlled and predictable way possible. A TAD is made of a sterile medical-grade titanium alloy. It eliminates the need for more cumbersome appliances, and allow your orthodontist to treat certain cases better and faster than ever before.