What is the Herbst Appliance?

What is the Herbst Appliance?

Collage of orthodontic appliances, red lips in the middle, retainer, herbst appliance

The Herbst device is a popular orthodontic appliance that applies gentle force to promote the development of the lower jaw. The goal of this appliance is to realign the bite into a healthy position.

As orthodontic headgear has become relatively obsolete, the Herbst appliance has become a popular treatment option to step in its place.

What is an Herbst Appliance?

The Herbst appliance, also called a functional orthodontic appliance, uses steady but consistent force to slow down the development of the upper jaw, while fostering forward growth of the lower jaw.

The purpose of this appliance is to realign the upper jaw with the lower jaw, and is used in place of appliances, like headgear and rubber bands. This treatment is made of surgical, stainless steel, and is bonded to the first permanent molars in all four corners. Because the Herbst appliance is cemented in place, it works uninterruptedly and requires minimal compliance from the patient.

How Does the Herbst Appliance Work?

Herbst appliance parts include stainless steel surgical frameworks that occupy all four corners of the patient’s mouth. These are connected by sets of telescoping mechanisms that apply gentle upward and backward force on the upper jaw, and forward force on the lower jaw.

This appliance includes two metal bands that pull the lower jaw forward and encourage it to develop further. Over time, as the appliance exerts persistent and strategic pressure on the upper and lower jaw, the jaws will align, which rectifies the overbite.

The Herbst appliance is customized to fit the patient. Dr. King will take the King Method approach to determine whether the Herbst appliance is the most efficacious option for you to achieve your goals. (The King Method combines all orthodontic methods into a single method. This enables Dr. King to provide the proper selection of which specific technique and appliance to use for each individual, based on the unique condition and circumstances of that patient.)

Who May Need an Herbst Appliance?

If a patient has a class II malocclusion, he or she may be a good candidate for the Herbst appliance. Also known as an overbite, a class II malocclusion is present when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth.

Dr. King will complete a thorough, complimentary examination and x-ray to assess your condition and determine whether the Herbst appliance is the most effective treatment route for you.

When it comes to Herbst appliance pros and cons, the pros outweigh the cons. Younger patients tend to get faster results, as their jaws are still developing. Treatment periods for adults whose bones have stabilized may take longer than treatment periods for children with developing bones. Although, the effectiveness of an Herbst appliance makes it effective for patients of any age.

How Long is Treatment with a Herbst Appliance?

Herbst appliance treatment time is about 12 months while total orthdodontic treatment time will vary for each patient depending on their specific condition. When treatment with the Herbst appliance is complete, Dr. King will remove the device to reveal an aligned bite.

The Herbst appliance is a popular treatment option for the correction of overbites. At Jupiter Orthodontics, we offer affordable payment plans to suit your circumstances. We believe everyone deserves quality orthodontic treatment that fits into their budget. If you’re ready to schedule your complimentary exam with us, request one today!

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