Our dentist may recommend the Herbst appliance as an alternative to headgear to improve jaw function. The Herbst appliance is usually used in conjunction with braces to help the lower jaw develop properly in a forward direction, eventually leading to the development of an ideal bite. To learn more about Herbst appliance therapy in Oro Valley, Arizona, and to make your appointment with Dr. Ronald D. Walker, please contact our practice at 520-297-2511 .
The Herbst appliance is fixed to the molars, and includes a metal tube that connects the upper and lower jaw. This tube is used to control the jaw’s position in relation to the upper teeth. Unlike headgear, the Herbst appliance is not removeable and is highly discreet. While it may be visible when you speak or laugh, it is far less obvious than headgear and requires no outward attachments such as a strap or head cap. Treatment with the Herbst appliance is typically about 12 months.
You may experience some tenderness and soreness when you begin wearing the Herbst appliance. This is normal and will fade as you adjust to wearing the appliance. It may also cause some slight tissue irritation, especially on the lower gums. Until your mouth adapts, you can use dental wax to ease the irritation.
We recommend that you avoid eating sticky, hard, or crunchy foods while wearing the appliance, as it may damage your appliance and extend your treatment time.
For more information about the Herbst appliance and to schedule your consultation with our dentist, call our office today.