Self ligating brackets (like those in the Damon System) are a modern type of brace that uses miniature doors to hold the wire in place, instead of the rubber "donuts" in traditional braces. Appointments are generally faster and hygiene is better with self-ligating braces versus traditional braces. While some patients might miss being able to choose colours for their braces, we think that you will enjoy having faster appointments and cleaner teeth!
Invisible aligners (like those in Invisalign) are clear, customized, removable appliances designed to move your teeth in small steps to the desired final position prescribed by your orthodontist. Each aligner is precisely calibrated and manufactured to fit your mouth at each stage of the treatment plan. In general, invisible aligners are appropriate for the correction of minor orthodontic problems. For more information, please see the Invisalign section of our website.
Class II elastics are "rubber bands" that typically run from the lower back teeth (e.g., first molar) to the upper front teeth (e.g. canine) when the teeth of the upper jaw are "ahead" of the teeth in the lower jaw, and the chief complaint is a noticeable horizontal overbite (overjet). The elastics come in different sizes and strengths determined by your orthodontist. They are generally worn full-time and taken out only for brushing and in some cases at mealtimes. Good compliance is essential to the success of treatment with Class II elastics.
Class III elastics are "rubber bands" that typically run from the upper back teeth (e.g., first molar) to the lower front teeth (e.g. canine) when the teeth of the upper jaw are "behind" the teeth in the lower jaw and the chief complaint is a noticeable "underbite". The elastics come in different sizes and strengths determined by your orthodontist. They are generally worn full-time and taken out only for brushing and in some cases at mealtimes. Good compliance is essential to the success of treatment with Class III elastics.
Bite Plates and Bite Pads
Bite plates and bite pads are pieces of plastic restorative material that are glued to the biting surfaces of the back teeth or the back surfaces of the front teeth. Bite pads and bite plates prop the teeth apart so that a patient can't bite the braces off the lower teeth. They also allow for the correction of deep bites and speed up the movement of the teeth at the start of treatment.
The Forsus appliance is, for some patients, an alternative to wearing elastics or headgear for alignment of the upper and lower jaws. It consists of a telescoping spring on a small metal extension to provide light, continuous pressure to the teeth. It is worn in conjunction with braces and attaches from the upper first molar to the lower archwire. The length of time that the appliance is worn varies, depending on the level of correction needed for each case. Good compliance with Class II elastic wear often will eliminate the need for the Forsus Appliance.
Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs) are miniature titanium screws that can be implanted into the bones of the upper and lower jaws. They are placed by the orthodontist in a very minor procedure that generally requires only a topical anesthetic (not an injection!) for freezing. TADs are used when teeth need to be moved long distances or in directions that would be difficult or even impossible using conventional orthodontics. Once the teeth have been moved to the desired position, the TAD is removed in a simple procedure that typically requires only a topical anesthetic or no anesthetic at all.
The hyrax rapid palatal expander is an appliance that is used to widen the upper jaw when it is too narrow. It is commonly used in patients in their early teens or preteens who have crossbites and/or crowded teeth. The device must be activated at regular intervals (prescribed by your orthodontist) by turning a key. Once the desired amount of expansion has been obtained, the appliance stays in place for a few months to stabilize the new width of the upper jaw. Typically, rapid palatal expansion with the hyrax results in a gap between the two front teeth that is corrected with braces once the expansion has been completed, or if used in the pre-teen years, may correct spontaneously. With the newer techniques utilizing the Damon appliance, the use of palate expanders is becoming less and less common.
The Distal Jet Appliance is a non-removable lingual appliance that is used to move upper teeth backward faster and more predictably than headgear. The Distal Jet distalizes molars and corrects teeth that have rotated. This appliance corrects class II problems.
The Distal Jet Appliance uses a solid track wire and two sets of locking screws on each side. The appliance is self-limiting by design because it has a distal stop attached to the tracking wire. The Distal Jet can be converted to a Nance Appliance by tightening the distal and anterior locks against the track wire and adding a Nance holding arch.
The Nance Appliance is used to prevent upper molars from rotating or moving forward after you've worn a headgear, a Wilson's arch or any other appliance to move your molars back. Some patients wear the Nance Appliance while they are awaiting their bicuspids 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.
Headgear or combination headgear is an appliance that transmits a force from outside the mouth to the upper molars in order to decrease the amount of forward and downward growth of the upper jaw. Its use is indicated in growing patients when the upper jaw is "ahead" of the lower jaw and the chief complaint is often a noticeable overjet. This appliance may or may not be used in conjunction with braces.
For effective control of jaw growth, headgear should be worn regularly for at least 10 to 12 hours a day (or more) with the tension adjusted as instructed by your orthodontist. You do not need to wear headgear to school or while eating and should not wear it while playing sports or cleaning your teeth. The key to success with your headgear appliance is consistency in wearing the appliance. The severity of the problem determines the length of time headgear needs to be worn. With the newer techniques and appliances such as the Damon appliance, the use of this type of headgear is rare.
Reverse headgear is an appliance that transmits a force from outside the mouth to the upper molars in order to increase the amount of forward and downward growth of the upper jaw. Its use is indicated in growing patients (usually prior to age 10) when the upper jaw is "behind" the lower jaw, and the chief complaint is often a noticeable "underbite". This appliance is often used in conjunction with a hyrax rapid palatal expander.
For effective control of jaw growth, this headgear should be worn regularly for at least 10 to 12 hours a day with the tension adjusted as instructed by your orthodontist. You do not have to wear headgear to school, while playing sports, or while eating.