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Functional Appliances

Rapid Palatal Expander | Separators | Twin Block | Modified Tandem Appliance

Rapid Palatal Expander

Attached to the upper molars through bonding or by cemented bands, the Rapid Palatal Expander is an orthodontic device used to create a wider space in the upper jaw. It is typically used when the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw or when the upper teeth are crowded or blocked out of the dental arch.

When patients are still growing, their connective tissue between the left and right halves of their upper jaw is very responsive to expansion. By simply activating the expander through turning a screw in the center, with a special key we provide, gradual outward pressure is placed on the left and right halves of the upper jaw. This pressure causes an increased amount of bone to grow between the right and left halves of the jaw, ultimately resulting in an increased width.

Rapid Palatal Expander

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Separators

Separators are small elastics that fit snugly between certain teeth to move them slightly so bands can be placed around them later. Separators can fall out on their own if enough space has already been created. To determine if it needs to be replaced, slip some dental floss between the teeth; if it gets stuck, that means the separator hasn’t created enough room and needs to be replaced prior to your banding appointment.

Direction for Separators

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Twin Block

The Twin Block functional appliance is designed to correct jaw positioning, so that the bite is properly aligned. It consists of an upper and lower plate, which work together to pull the lower jaw forward. While this appliance is suitable for patients of all ages, it is generally used during Phase 1 of orthodontic treatment, to treat children who have an underdeveloped jaw. To ensure treatment progresses as planned, the appliance should be worn at all times. It should only be removed for cleaning and during sport activities. Patients may experience temporary discomfort and difficulty speaking the first few days of wear. Dr. Thibault will provide specific instructions for activating the screw. Patients should follow instructions carefully to ensure effective results are achieved within the least amount of time.

Twin Block

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Modified Tandem Appliance

The Modified Tandem Appliance can be used to effectively treat a Class III malocclusion or underbite (the lower jaw protrudes forward, which causes both the lower jaw and teeth to overlap the upper jaw and teeth). This intraoral appliance consists of three parts: an upper appliance (similar to a fixed expander with a wire in the front), a removable or fixed lower expansion appliance (features headgear attachments), and a traction bow. Together the three units promote forward growth of the upper jaw, while slowing down growth of the lower jaw.

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