Most orthodontic problems can be solved using appliances. In mild to moderate cases, braces will do the trick. Even in some severe cases, braces, headgear, and palatal expanders can allow us to avoid surgery. However, sometimes it is the best option. Problems with the jaw go beyond mere aesthetics, harming the patient’s ability to chew, speak, and breathe. Through surgical orthodontics, we can straighten the jaw while using braces to straighten the teeth.
When diagnosing a patient’s condition, we use a cephalometric x-ray to take images from the side of the head. This allows our expert orthodontists to determine if the problems the patient is suffering from are skeletal or dental in nature, or in some cases, a combination of the two. Skeletal conditions require extra intervention through the use of special appliances and/or surgery. One appliance that addresses skeletal conditions is the Herbst appliance.
The palatal expander “expands” (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time an adjustment is made. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for several months to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.