What is an Orthodontic Appliance?

If you’ve been working with your orthodontist in Shaker Heights, OH, you may have heard the term orthodontic appliance mentioned in your treatment plan. Orthodontic appliances have been used for decades to help with alignment issues, but some new dental patients have yet to become familiar with the term. Learn what is meant by orthodontic appliance and their importance in orthodontic treatment.

What is an Orthodontic Appliance?

An orthodontic appliance is an umbrella term used to describe any removable device that is worn by a patient to treat or continue treatment for a health-related condition. There are several different kinds of orthodontic appliances available for use by your orthodontist. These can be implemented in the treatment of things such as:

  • crooked teeth
  • gaps in the teeth
  • teeth alignment issues
  • jaw alignment issues
  • sleep apnea
  • excessive snoring
  • and more…

How Are Orthodontic Appliances Made?

Orthodontic appliances are made in dental labs by dental technicians. Many orthodontic appliances are custom-made. In many cases, orthodontic appliances are made using a mold of the dental patient’s teeth. The orthodontist in Shaker Heights, OH, then sends the mold to the dental lab, where the lab technicians create an orthodontic device that is comfortable and fits well inside the mouth.

Types of Orthodontic Appliances

There are several types of orthodontic appliances. For example, you may have heard of Invisalign. Invisalign is actually a system of orthodontic appliances that incrementally moves teeth into correct alignment. These appliances are removable but worn by the patient for a minimum of 21 hours each day. Another kind of oral appliance is a neck-supported appliance that connects to dental braces and helps to treat severe overbites and underbites.

If you need to wear an orthodontic appliance as part of your orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist in Shaker Heights, OH, will let you know. For more information or to ask questions, please contact us today.

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