Herbst Forsus Appliance
Even though Headgear absolutely works, we at Oak Tree Orthodontist in San Antonio, Texas try not to use this appliance.
Unfortunately, it can be quite cumbersome to wear. It requires sliding the ends of the headgear into openings on the brackets of the back teeth and keeping it in place with a strap around the back of the neck. Although we typically only prescribe headgear use at night, wearing it can make getting a good night’s sleep more challenging. The good news is that we offer Herbst and Forsus appliances that are much more comfortable and less of a burden to wear.
The Herbst Appliance
Dr. Emil Herbst invented this appliance in 1904 and dentists used it exclusively for orthodontic purposes until the 1930s. It was then that treatment with traditional metal braces became popular. Most orthodontists abandoned using the appliance in favor of braces alone. In the 1970s, they began using a combination of traditional metal braces and this appliance in patients with specific orthodontic issues. Its primary purpose is to correct the lower and upper jaw lines. If left untreated, a protruding jaw can cause speech problems, a slight facial deformity, and make caring for the teeth more challenging.
The Herbst appliance contains stainless steel crowns that go over the patient’s back four molars. Dr. Melendez then installs metal rods on the sides of each back tooth. This connects the top and lower crowns together. It’s still possible to move the mouth from side to side, but the device prevents both jaws from moving back towards the pre-treatment position.
The Forsus Appliance
We use the Forsus appliance most often for cases of extreme overbites. Patients typically wear it for six to nine months during their treatment. The appliance contains a spring module attached to the upper bands of the patient’s molars. The device is removable, but it’s important to wear it for as many hours per day as possible to increase its effectiveness. It puts continuous pressure on the jaw to correct its improper placement.
Will You or Your Child Need to Wear an Appliance?
Dr. Melendez will let you know if it’s likely that you or your child will need a Herbst or Forsus appliance along with braces. It depends on the severity of the jaw issues and other individual concerns. Feel free to contact us with any remaining questions you may have.