Functional appliances all have a similar purpose: to help a patient’s jaws develop normally, and to help achieve facial balance.
The two appliances most commonly used are the Twin Block and Rick a Nator. They are removable appliances.
The Twin Block appliance is used to help a receded jaw grow forward and skinny or narrow jaws grow wider to help save all permanent teeth.
Dr. Ghai may recommend a Twin Block for the following cases;
*An overbite (buck teeth), usually caused by the lower jaw not growing out enough.
*Crowded teeth, most frequently caused by the jaw not growing wide enough.
Rick a Nator
If a patient’s teeth are not crowded but the jaw is receded, Dr Ghai may recommend a Rick a Nator appliance.
This course of treatment may require one kind of appliance at one stage of the treatment and another type of appliance at the next stage.
Not only do these kinds of appliances correct and save adult teeth; they also provide patients with a normal jaw line, pleasant smile and an overall more balanced appearance upon the completion of treatment.
Exapansion appliances (Schwartz)
The Schwarz appliance is utilized to achieve horizontal expansion. The appliance standardly comes with an activation/expansion screw. A single expansion screw or two expansion screws can be used to achieve expansion. This is determined by the size of the arch. Two pairs of clasp are added for retention. Labial bows can also be added if desired for additional retention.
They are excellent in gaining space for teeth so we don’t have to opt for extracting teeth.
Hyrax appliance is glued onto the upper back teeth and remains in place for four to six months so that the bones of the palate retain its form and increase in width.
The expansion screw must be turned once using the key that is given to you when the appliance is installed. We recommend activating this unit in the evening before bedtime. The child will sometimes feel a slight pressure on the palate.
After about 12 turns of the activation key, a space between the central incisors will appear and grow further until you reach the number of prescribed turns. It is normal for the space to become very large. Don’t panic. The space between the teeth will decrease significantly in the following weeks, but the palate will retain the correct width.
MARA is an acronym for Mandibular Anterior Repositioning Appliance. This appliance is used to encourage forward growth of the lower jaw. Out of all of the types of appliances currently available to position the lower jaw forward, Dr. Ghai feels that this appliance is the easiest to get used to and is the least obtrusive.
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