Functional Appliances in Canton, MI

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What are Functional Appliances?

Most orthodontic treatments facilitate tooth movement to bring your smile into proper alignment. Rather than acting directly on the teeth, functional appliances correct severe bite problems by correcting jaw alignment.

Herbst Appliance

The orthodontist cements this appliance to the top molars. A small metal rod and tube similar in appearance to a shock absorber extends to a fixed attachment on the lower teeth. The Herbst appliance puts a small amount of pressure on the lower jaw, guiding its development toward a forward position. Children typically wear this appliance for about 12 months; the results are visible quickly.

Benefits of Functional Appliances

  • Guides the position of the jaws to correct severe overbites and underbites
  • Fixed appliances do not have compliance issues like removable devices (headgear and retainer-style appliances)
  • Patients can eat and speak normally
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Our board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Ritu Singh, is an expert in dentofacial orthopedics and uniquely qualified to treat patients with functional appliances. We also provide a full range of orthodontic treatments for adults and children.

Our team focuses on creating a friendly, fun environment. We have convenient hours on weekends and after school to accommodate busy patients.

Frequently Asked Questions About Functional Appliances

Is the Herbst appliance uncomfortable?
Your child may experience minor discomfort after installing the device. Orthodontic wax can cover the irritating points on the appliance until your child becomes accustomed to it. Warm salt-water rinses and eating softer foods can also help. After a short adjustment period, your child can eat and speak normally.
When is the best time to place a Herbst appliance?
The appliances are most valuable when the patient is still growing. Most orthodontists use these appliances for preteens and teens.
Who is not a good candidate for the Herbst appliance?
Patients with extreme teeth crowding may not qualify for the appliance. Other interceptive techniques may work more readily.
How long will my child wear a functional appliance?
The length of treatment is usually about 12 months. The treatment time may vary according to the severity of the jaw displacement.
Can the Herbst appliance and braces work together?
Yes, in some cases, orthodontists use both appliance types together. Herbst appliances often come into play before and during braces treatment, and then the braces stay on for another 12 to 18 months.
Will my child need to have teeth extracted to wear the Herbst appliance?
Often, Herbst appliances can help prevent permanent tooth extraction to combat an overbite.
Can adults use functional appliances?
These appliances work best while the patient's jaw is still developing, but adults can also receive them.

Call Advanced Orthodontics

Functional appliances are valuable tools in orthodontics. If you or your child have complex orthodontic issues, like a severe overbite, please call our Canton, MI, office at

. We can meet with you to discuss treatment options.