Orthodontic Appliances Are More than Braces

Orthodontic appliances help you have the smile you are after.

Fixing Smiles with Dental Science

Orthodontic appliances just doesn’t sound attractive, but these dental devices do assist users to have attractive smiles in the end. The Sacramento Dentistry Group keeps up to date with the latest advances in orthodontics to provide the best dental care for patients. Using the correct orthodontic equipment is crucial to give you a hassle-free and effective treatment when your smile needs correction or repair.

What are some of the appliances used by our Sacramento dentists? First of all, they’re not just braces or Invisalign, but like these orthodontic treatment methods, they’re designed to correct faults in the bite and the shape of the oral cavity. Some are called bite planes and occlusal splints, turbo brackets (they sound more exciting than they really are) and tongue spurs. While those seem like names for medieval torture devices, they’re all corrective appliances used along with standard orthodontics to help our patients maintain oral health and achieve healthy and beautiful smiles. The DNA Appliance is another example commonly used by the Sacramento Dentistry Group, but let’s talk about these other appliances as well.

Bite planes and occlusal splints help correct orthodontic errors.

An example of a bite plane.

Bite Plane and Occlusal Splint

The bite plane is used to treat extreme overbite. It works by preventing a patient from biting all the way down on their back teeth. This helps the back teeth to erupt on their own and prevents or reduces the risk of overlapping to the front teeth. A bite plane should be worn all the time, even if it can be removed. Patients who wear their bite plane constantly see faster and greater improvement to their bite.

An occlusal splint is custom-designed for each patient to wear on their teeth to correct crossbite. Treatment plans often include braces. When combined with braces, their teeth are moved into correct position and have a normal bite. Like bite planes, occlusal splints need to be removed and brushed daily and should be worn all the time, except when eating.

Turbo Brackets

Like a bite plane, turbo brackets correct extreme overbite, except that they cannot be removed. They are cemented on certain teeth and prevent the patient from biting all the way down. During the first few days of use, most patients eat softer foods, as turbo brackets alter the bite and take some getting used to.

Tongue spurs are used to correct tongue thrust.

Tongue spurs are not really like these, but they do teach your tongue to “behave” properly.

Tongue Spurs

If you have especially strong tongue thrust (pushing the tongue against the front teeth), this results in an open bite. That means your upper teeth do not meet the lower ones when biting down. To prevent this so that you don’t undo your orthodontic repair, you might need tongue spurs. Tongue spurs are literally just what their name suggests — spurs! As with a horse, they’re designed to get your attention, without actually hurting your tongue. Studies find that for the majority of patients they aid the tongue to relearn where to be when swallowing and prevents the tongue from pushing on teeth. The spurs are attached to the first molars or are glued on individually to the lower front teeth and worn as long as it takes to retrain the tongue not to thrust. This device is also used with lingual arches for bite correction.

End Result: A Good-Looking Smile

Orthodontics aren’t just for kids anymore! Many adults improve their bites, health and smiles with orthodontic therapy using braces, Invisalign, Propel and orthodontic appliances. The dental professionals at the Sacramento Dentistry Group are happy to answer any questions you have about using orthodontics to improve your smile. Call today at 916-538-6900, or use our website, to receive your own individualized consultation and treatment plan from our dental clinic on 1105 E Street in downtown Sacramento.

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