Orthodontic Appliances

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Orthodontic Appliances 

In addition to fixed and removable braces, our practice offers other orthodontic appliances that can help correct jaw misalignment, correct and prevent potential sleep apnea and airway constriction issues, and reposition teeth.  In some cases, traditional fixed or removable braces are used with another type of orthodontic appliance to accomplish the following:

  • Expand the palate to create space

  • Close large gaps between the teeth

  • Correct irregularities, such as an elongated mandible (lower jaw) bone or a short maxilla (upper jaw) bone

  • Alleviate crowding in the upper or lower jaw

Types of Orthodontic Appliances

Biobloc Orthotropics®  Dr. Day is proud to offer this unique and effective approach to facial growth guidance and preservation of airway space (preventing future sleep disorders) in young children, ages 4-12.

It may be surprising to some that an incorrect position of the tongue and mouth can influence the growth of a child's face and jaw as he/she ages.  If this is not corrected early, it can lead to misaligned teeth and potentially decreased airway space.  Children who grow and develop with insufficient airway space are at an increased risk for obstructive sleep apnea, behavioral issues, and future cardiovascular problems such as stroke and heart attack.

If you notice that your child primarily breathes through his/her mouth, snores, sucks a finger, thumb, or blanket, thrusts his/her tongue, grinds teeth, seems tired in spite of sufficient sleep, or exhibits unusual or uncharacteristic behavior, please discuss this with Dr. Day.  As a part of a holistic approach to dentistry, Dr. Day may make a referral to an Ear, Nose, Throat Specialist, a sleep clinic, or a pediatric allergist to get a complete health assessment for your child.  After a comprehensive evaluation, Dr. Day will determine whether your child can benefit from Biobloc®.  If Biobloc® is appropriate for your child, Dr. Day will make custom, removable appliances designed to direct your child's facial growth in a more favorable direction. 

Biobloc® places the front teeth in their proper position, then gently moves the lower jaw forward to create balance and provide adequate airway space.  When the facial profile is balanced, the teeth may need to be straightened with braces; however the straightening process is often abbreviated because of the benefits of Biobloc®.  In addition to improving and/or eliminating airway issues, Biobloc® can also help your child avoid drastic measures such as jaw surgery later in life.

Palatal Expanders

Palatal expanders come in two styles:  the bonded appliance and the banded appliance.  These devices widen the upper arch to create room for the permanent teeth and are used to correct a narrow bite or crossbite.  Palate expanders work effectively as long as the device is adjusted at the designated intervals.  Some individuals experience a slight difficulty in speaking and eating until they have fully acclimated to the device.

Facemasks (Reverse Headgear)

Facemasks are designed to adjust growth discrepancies between upper and lower jaw arches.  In the case where the upper jaw grows faster than the lower jaw, the facemask pulls the lower arch forward and encourages its growth relative to the upper arch.  This appliance consists of a frame, which fits around the head, and elastics, which are directly applied to the teeth.  Facemasks are removable, but must be worn for 12-20 hours a day to expedite treatment.

Headgear

Headgear works to correct an overbite.  In this case, the lower jaw is growing faster than the upper jaw.  Headgear inhibits lower jaw growth and allows the upper jaw to catch up.  Headgear consists of a frame which fits around the head and is attached to braces and bands.  In some cases, headgear is used to create space to move the front teeth backwards.  As with facemasks, it is typically recommended to ear headgear for wear 12-20 hours each day.

If you have any questions or concerns about orthodontic appliances, please feel free to contact our office at 517-393-8500.

Day Family Dental

Dr. Nathan Day, DMD • Dentist • Lansing, MI

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