Type of Appliances

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
  • Expanders — used to widen a narrow upper arch, thus fixing crossbites and making space for crowded teeth
  • 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


Did you know?

that braces are the most commonly used fixed orthodontic appliances in the U.S.? Invented in the early 1800s, these devices have since become widely popular. At any given time, at least, 4 million people in the U.S. are undergoing orthodontic treatment. The majority of them are children and teens, although the U.S. has seen a sharp increase in adult orthodontics over the past few decades.