Types of Orthodontic Appliances | Graf Orthodontics

Types of Orthodontic Appliances

Types of

Orthodontic Appliances

When your experienced Graf orthodontist creates your personalized treatment plan, it may include any of these orthodontic appliances to achieve beautiful results in the shortest amount of time.  


We’re proud to create most of our custom appliances in-house with our very own 3-D printer!

What do orthodontic appliances do?

Orthodontic appliances have a variety of uses. They’re effective for facilitating more efficient tooth movement, holding space in the mouth for permanent teeth to grow, and/or helping to support proper growth and development of the jaw bones.

Palatal Expander

Palatal expanders are a common appliance used in early orthodontic treatment for children whose jaw bones are still developing. These appliances serve to widen the upper jaw to create the necessary space for teeth to erupt in a healthy alignment. Palatal expanders can help prevent crowding and impaction by guiding proper development of the jaw bone.


The rapid palatal expander (the most common type of palatal expander) is bonded to the upper molars on both sides of the top jaw, with a screw located in the center of the appliance. To activate the palatal expander, you’ll insert a special key to turn the center screw, which expands the device ever so slightly and widens the palate gradually over time.


If your child requires a palatal expander, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about cleaning it, activating it and caring for it.


The Forsus™ Fatigue Resistant Device treats overbites by creating a healthy alignment between the upper and lower teeth. This appliance uses springs to apply persistent pressure on the upper and lower teeth and create resistance, guiding the upper teeth backward and the lower teeth forward.


Once the appliance is in place, it shouldn’t require any maintenance until it’s removed. It’s important that you keep this appliance as clean as possible.


Temporary anchorage devices (TADs) are temporary dental implants embedded into the bone to create an “anchor” that assists with tooth movement. These appliances are generally used when certain teeth require shifting, and others don’t. TADs enable us to treat individual teeth with greater efficiency.


These anchorage devices appear as tiny metal buttons, strategically implanted into an area of the jaw bone. A small wire or elastic may be attached to the TAD to connect it with the specific tooth (or teeth) in need of treatment. We will refer this out to an oral surgeon for placement.

Teeth Separators or Spacers

Spacers, also called separators, are small rubber bands that help to create the space necessary for bands of appliances to be placed. A metal band is placed around the back molars if brackets continually break due to bite, crowns, or as part of an orthodontic appliance.


Separators are temporary appliances that are only worn for about one to two weeks before active treatment begins.

Nance Appliance

The Nance appliance is used to hold the upper molars in place, to prevent them from rotating or shifting forward. With this appliance, two metal bands are cemented around the first molars and a wire connects the back molars to an acrylic pad, located behind the two front teeth.

Reverse-Pull Headgear (Orthodontic Facemask)

The reverse-pull headgear (facemask) is an appliance used to promote proper alignment of the jaw bones for young kids around the ages of 7 to 10. It works by pulling the upper jaw forward to treat underbite conditions that may otherwise require jaw surgery to correct.

Lower Lingual Arch (Space Maintainer)

The lower lingual holding arch is a space maintainer used to hold the necessary space in the mouth for premolars to grow. It has metal bands that go around the two lower molars, with a metal wire spanning from the molars, around the inside of the bottom teeth.


The lower lingual arch appliance establishes the proper foundation that shapes the lower arch in a healthy alignment.

Banded Bite Plate

A banded bite plate serves to correct a deep bite (overbite) condition. This appliance fits behind the upper, front teeth, and disables the rear teeth from meeting when the mouth is closed, which allows these posterior teeth to develop properly. Over several months, the deep bite will be corrected!

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