Orthodontists primarily treat patients who need help correcting certain maxillofacial problems, such as misaligned teeth, malocclusion, or too much space between the teeth. Treating these conditions requires the assistance of orthodontic appliances, of which there are many. Orthodontic appliances come in many variations – some being fixed and some being removable. They serve various purposes, from active treatment to maintenance. Some of the most commonly used orthodontic appliances include:
- Braces/Aligners – either fixed or removable; used to gently reposition the teeth into better alignment
- Retainers – used to prevent teeth from shifting to a prior position
- Splints – used to reposition the jaw, especially in TMJ patients
- Space maintainers – either fixed or removable; used to hold the space where a primary tooth once was until a permanent one can erupt
- Bumpers – used to maintain space and relieve pressure between the teeth and the lips or cheeks.
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