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Orthodontic Appliances
By Stephen Yang, DMD, MS
Board Certified Orthodontist
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bionator functional appliance holds lower jaw forwardBionator – An acrylic appliance which fits on the upper and lower teeth, and postures the lower jaw forward. A bionator is used to encourage lower jaw growth.


  bite plate bite plane orthodontic appliance

Bite Plate – A fixed or removable appliance used to open a deep bite (decrease the vertical overlap of the upper and lower incisors)



bonded palatal expander minimizes bite opening during expansionBonded RPE – A palatal expander which in addition to the metal framework, contains plastic over the biting surfaces of the back teeth. This type of expander is used to minimize bite opening during expansion.


Forsus™ - A system of push-rods and springs used to posture the lower jaw forward and encourage lower jaw growth.

haas tissue bourne palatal expander widens upper jawHaas Expander – A palatal expander which addition to the metal framework, contains plastic shelves which contact the palatal tissue.



 orthodontic headgear holds upper jaw and teeth while lower jaw grows

Headgear – A removable appliance worn to restrict growth of the upper jaw and improve overjet (“overbite”) problems. It normally consists of a facebow that attaches to the teeth and a strap that fits around the neck or head

herbst orthodontic appliance encourages lower jaw growthHerbst – A fixed appliance that improves “overbite” by encouraging lower jaw growth


Lip Bumper – A wire or piece of plastic connected to the lower molars which serve to preserve or create space for other teeth.

lower lingual arch space maintainer, llaLower Lingual Arch – A fixed appliance used to keep the lower molars from moving forward




mini screw implant orthodontic temporary anchorage device tad is a metal screw placed in gums or palateMiniscrew (Temporary Anchorage Device) – A metal screw placed in the palate or gum areas that serve to provide additional stability when moving teeth. The screw is removed after the desired tooth movement has occurred.


orthodontic mouthguard for sports or physical activity protects teeth and bracesMouthguard A removable plastic piece that fits over the teeth. It protects the teeth and inside of the mouth when playing sports.




nance holding button arch orthodontic applianceNance – A fixed appliance used to keep the upper molars from moving forward.




nightguard or splint protects teeth and tmj joint from harmful effects of grindingNightguard (Splint) – A removable plastic piece worn at night to minimize harmful effects of bruxism (grinding).



 pendulum orthodontic appliance pushes upper molars back

Pendulum – An appliance that moves the upper molars backward. A pendulum is used for creating space to align the upper teeth and for improving overjet problems.



tooth positioner moves teeth to final positions after bracesPositioner – A removable appliance used to finalize tooth movements after the braces are removed



quad helix expander orthodontic applianceQuad-helix – A fixed appliance used to expand the upper or lower arch




rapid palatal upper jaw expander, rpe, rmeRapid Palatal Expander (RPE) – A type of palatal expander. The RPE usually has a screw which the patient or parent turns to widen the upper jaw.



Reverse-Pull Headgear (Facemask) – A removable appliance worn to encourage growth of the upper jaw in order to correct a negative overjet (“underbite”).

transpalatal arch tpa holds upper molars in placeTPA – A fixed appliance used to keep the upper molars from moving forward and down.




tongue crib orthodontic appliance for controlling tongue thrust habitTongue Crib – An appliance used to prevent the tongue from thrusting forward




lower lingual arch with tongue spurs used to control tongue thrusting habitTongue Spurs – Pointy metal spurs that are used to control a tongue-thrusting habit. Tongue spurs can be bonded to the teeth or soldered onto an appliance such as a lingual arch




thumb or finger sucking appliances make it difficult for the patient to continue the habitThumb Appliance – An appliance used to curb a thumb or fingersucking habit. The appliance makes it difficult for the patient to keep the digit in the mouth.



twin block functional orthodontic appliance increases lower jaw growthTwin Block – A two-piece appliance which consists of upper and lower pieces with ramps that guide the lower jaw forward when the patient closes down. The twin block is used to encourage lower jaw growth

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Dr. Yang is a Board Certified Orthodontist practicing in Antioch, California. Read more about Dr. Yang.




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