Jaw misalignment can be a serious issue and lead to health complications that might require orthognathic surgery down the road. It’s something that should not only be corrected for aesthetic purposes, but for your overall well-being.
What Is An Herbst® Oral Appliance Used For?
An Herbst® Oral Appliance is a more discreet way to fix jaw and tooth alignment problems compared to orthodontic headgear. By realigning the jaw, it has the potential to fix speech problems, issues eating or chewing, and even resolve sleep apnea by opening up the airway.
Improper tooth and jaw alignment can also lead to an asymmetrical or misshapen facial structure that might require orthognathic surgery later in life.
It has also been proven to reduce patients’ time in braces!
How Does an Herbst® Oral Appliance Work?
The Herbst® Oral Appliance is a simple device that helps align your jaw by limiting its movement. It works by attaching to the top and bottom molars, preventing the bottom jaw from moving back horizontally.
- Arm – The metal arm consists of an inner tube that slides within an outer tube. This allows the jaw to move up and down, so you can still talk and eat normally, but restricts sideways motion.
- Upper Band – The upper band is a metal sleeve that’s fixed to one of the top molars, connecting to the upper part of the arm.
- Lower Band – Similar to the upper band, the lower band fits around the lower molars and connects to the lower part of the arm.
- Supporting Wire – The supporting wire gives the whole structure added rigidity to ensure proper alignment of the jaw at all times.
Does an Herbst® Oral Appliance Hurt?
Some initial gum and jaw discomfort is expected after getting the Herbst® Oral Appliance installed. Fortunately, this can be managed with basic over-the-counter pain medication and should go away in a couple of weeks. Additionally, the appliance may cause some soreness on the inside of the patient’s cheek where it touches, but should also only last a brief time. You can use dental wax to ease this irritation and improve comfort as your mouth adjusts.
Severe pain is very uncommon and should be reported immediately if it occurs.
We recommend avoiding hard, crunch, or sticky foods that might damage your appliance during treatment.
Pros and Cons of the Herbst® Oral Appliance
Like with any health decision, pros and cons should be weighed out so you can make the best decision based on your personal needs.
- Works Quickly – Because the Herbst® Oral Appliance is fixed to the patient’s teeth, proper jaw alignment is often achieved within a year.
- Low Maintenance – The appliance is relatively simple, so cleaning it and the surrounding areas tends to be an easy process.
- Discreet – Since the majority of the device is in the back of the mouth, it remains well hidden, and can usually only be seen when smiling or talking.
- Decreases Chances of Needing Jaw Surgery – Generally, surgery is required if someone needs to align their jaw later in their life. Wearing an Herbst® Oral Appliance at a young age reduces the chances of needing corrective jaw surgery down the road.
- Pain-free – Patients often report some discomfort or soreness, especially in the first couple weeks of having the appliance, but it will become more tolerable as they get used to it.
- Fixed In Place – Unlike orthodontic headgear, the Herbst® Oral Appliance is unable to be removed.
- Can Trap Food Particles – Because of the direct contact with the teeth, food particles have the potential to get stuck between the components of the and the patient’s teeth, but can be removed with floss and proper oral hygiene.
- Adjustment Period – Like most other alignment correction methods, the Herbst® Appliance comes with an adjustment period and takes some getting used to.
Herbst® Oral Appliance in Parker and Castle Rock, CO
If you’re looking for a discreet way to align your jaw without surgery, we can help you determine if an Herbst® Oral Appliance is right for you. !
For more information about the Herbst® Appliance, book an appointment or call our office today for a FREE consultation!