Orthopedic appliances are also known as functional appliances in orthodontics and are designed to guide the growth of the jaws and face. Orthopedic appliances do this by supporting, stabilizing and correcting problems with the development of muscle and bone in the face and jaw, and aiding the process of how they function and work together. Your doctor will use orthopedic appliances for a variety of reasons. In the case of children, it could be used as a preventative measure for more serious problems in later life.
In the case of children, orthodontic appliances can often prevent serious orthodontic problems in later life as well as tooth loss. As a preventative measure, it could therefore prevent expensive work later. If your orthodontist has suggested that your child needs to wear orthopedic appliances, it will be because he or she wants to ensure functional and healthy bone and muscle development and growth.
The two main types of orthopedic appliances in orthodontics are palatal expanders and face masks. Palatal expanders are fixed appliances that will usually stay in your mouth for about 6 months, while face masks are removable.
Palatal expanders are also known as rapid palatal expanders, rapid maxillary expansion appliances, orthodontic expanders or Hyrax. You doctor will suggest this appliance if you have a crossbite where your lower jaw extends your upper jaw when you close your mouth. What it does, is to widen or expand and correct your upper jaw, resulting in your jaws fitting together better. It will also create space for crowded upper teeth.
Orthodontic face masks are also sometimes called reverse-pull headgear. It is a removable device mainly used for children where the upper jaw is developing too slowly, resulting in either underbite or crossbite. The face mask therefore aligns your jaws and corrects your profile. Your doctor will tell you for how many hours a day you should wear it, and it is extremely important that you stick to the instructions. On average treatment with face masks last between 6-12 months.
It is very important that you only allow qualified and experienced orthodontists to assist you with your orthodontic needs using these appliances. At Cronauer&Angelikas our doctors naturally have both of these, and we will take really good care of you physically and emotionally while you are undergoing these procedures – just like with everything else we do.