Why: A Herbst appliance is a 3D metal printed custom appliance that helps line up your top and bottom jaws. This helps improve the way your teeth and bite fit together. The Herbst appliance moves the lower jaw forward while putting backward pressure on the upper jaw. It attaches to the back molars on both sides of the upper and lower jaws. The Herbst appliance is not a removable appliance. It is not something that you can take it
and out meaning that is it working 24 hours a day. The Herbst appliance can be a good alternative to headgear for overbite correction. If treatment to correct overbite is delayed until after a child’s peak growth is completed, orthodontic treatment options are more limited and overbite correction could involve jaw surgery or permanent tooth removal.
What to Expect: Your Herbst appliance may take a few weeks to get used to. Initially, your bite will feel different, and chewing will be affected. It is normal to not feel as much or any contact on the molars immediately after the appliance is placed or adjusted. This contact will come back as the teeth and the jaws level and align (after a few weeks). Occasionally, patients can develop sore spots where the appliance rests against the soft tissues of the cheeks and lips. The Herbst appliance is durable and requires little maintenance, except for normal cleaning and slight modifications to diet (avoiding hard/sticky foods). Since the Herbst appliance lies in contact with the teeth, extreme care must be taken when it comes to oral hygiene and brushing. You should use a daily fluoride mouth rinse and should avoid all sticky and sweet foods that could cause decay or cause the appliance to come loose.
How Long: Dr. Hammer usually will leave the Herbst appliance in for around the first 9 months of your orthodontic treatment. Once bite correction is achieved, we will carefully remove the Herbst appliance and add the remainder of your braces. Dr. Hammer might ask you to wear some rubber bands after the Herbst appliance has been removed to help maintain your bite correction.