In addition to braces, Sawyer Creek Orthodontics often utilizes supplementary appliances and techniques to create the best possible smile for our patients. Our orthodontists will recommend the right appliance to correct your unique situation.
The iTero Element is a state-of-the-art digital impression system that eliminates the need for messy putty in your mouth. With our iTero Element Scanner, we can digitally capture a detailed 3D model of your teeth and gums.
A bite plate is a small acrylic retainer that is used to correct a deep bite. A bite plate also helps prevent the lower front teeth from hitting the roof of the mouth, which can cause sores.
A distalizer may be used to correct how back teeth bite together when one or more has come in abnormally. A distalizer works by moving upper teeth backwards into their correct position, usually before braces are placed on your teeth. Distalizer arms are attached to the upper teeth on both sides of your mouth, and an elastic band is attached to the top and bottom teeth. Within a few months, this process slowly moves the teeth into their proper place.
If you are still growing and have an overbite or underbite, headgear can help modify the jaw’s growth pattern. Headgear helps control the growth of the upper jaw while the lower jaw continues to grow naturally. Headgears can be worn either prior to or in conjunction with braces.
Lip bumpers are worn to help gain space for crowded lower teeth. The lower lip provides a gentle force against the lip bumper to move molars toward the back of your mouth or allow the front teeth to move forward, creating the space necessary to align the teeth.
Rapid maxillary expanders, also known as palatal expanders, are most often used for patients who have a narrow upper jaw or crossbite. The appliance is fixed to the upper molars. A special key is used to turn a screw once a day in the center of the appliance. The gradual pressure on the two halves of the jaw allows extra bone to grow between them, gently widening the upper arch until the proper width is established.
Retainers are worn to stabilize the results of orthodontic treatment and prevent teeth from moving back to their original position. There are two types of retainers: removable and permanent.
Removable retainers are meant to be worn EVERY night FOREVER. Teeth, unfortunately, are not set in stone, but rather in bone that will change over time. After all the hard work you put in to getting a perfect smile, it is very important to be consistent with your retainers! Removable types include a clear plastic tray that fits over your teeth or a combination of molded plastic and wires called a Hawley retainer. Both types of retainers are custom-fit to your mouth.
Permanent retainers are sometimes fixed wires that are “glued” to the inside of your front teeth. These hold your teeth without having to remember to put them in at night; however, it becomes more difficult to brush, floss and keep this area clean.
Sometimes a baby tooth falls out too early before a permanent tooth is ready to come in to take its place. Other times, a tooth doesn’t come in at all or needs to be removed due to severe tooth decay. In these cases, a space maintainer is used to not only hold the space for the permanent tooth, but also to guide the new tooth into the space where it belongs.
Fixed space maintainers use a lingual arch when a lower back baby tooth is lost and bands on either side of the mouth behind the missing teeth, holding a wire in place to maintain the space. A nance serves the same purpose as a lower lingual arch, but is placed on the top teeth.
Removable space maintainers are typically made of stainless steel and plastic and look like an orthodontic retainer. They are often used when the open space is noticeable to others, and a fake tooth can be added to them.
A splint is an orthopedic jaw repositioning appliance often used to treat patients experiencing temporomandibular joint (TMJ) symptoms. When properly adjusted, a splint does not move teeth, but will reposition the jaw joints in a stable position, helping muscles that are in spasm to relax and possibly reduce pain.
Successful orthodontic treatment primarily depends on two things: constant pressure and time. Sometimes it takes added force to move teeth and jaws into their correct positions. Elastics, also called rubber bands, have the pull to make that happen. But they won’t work without the patient’s help. To achieve the healthy, beautiful smile you’re working for, you must carefully follow your orthodontist’s instructions about which hooks on your appliances you should place the rubber bands. At first, the elastics may cause your teeth to be sore, but the more you wear them, the soreness will lessen as teeth will keep moving.