Types of Orthodontic Dental Appliances

The types of orthodontic dental appliances your dentist might recommend for your dental treatment depends largely on the type of problem you have as well as the extent of the problem. As with any other medical or physical issue, it’s absolutely imperative to the progress of your treatment that you follow your dentist’s instructions very closely when undergoing any kind of treatment involving dental appliances. Your dentist will explain all of the dental appliance options that are relevant to your treatment.

types of orthodontic dental

Types of Orthodontic Appliances

Dental or orthodontic appliances are sometimes necessary when it comes to effectively implementing certain dental treatments. There’s actually an expansive selection of orthodontic appliances in dentistry, some of which you may have already heard of. Others might be foreign to you. Here is a list of the different types of orthodontic appliances, some of which are more obscure than others.

Palatal Expander

The name of this particular orthodontic appliance aptly describes its purpose. This treatment is most commonly administered at a very young age because the jaw isn’t fully formed yet and it’s still somewhat malleable. Palatal expanders are used to expand the upper jaw which helps to later align the upper teeth with the lower teeth to establish a straighter smile and a stronger bite.


The Forsus Fatigue Resistance Device is one of the most versatile orthodontic appliances on the market because it serves multiple purposes. It works alongside braces to reposition the upper and lower teeth to make them more congruent and it corrects overjets, effectively eliminating the need for intrusive jaw surgery.


The pendulum is typically placed behind the upper teeth to prevent or correct posterior movement of the upper molars so that enough space is created for new permanent teeth to break the surface. This type of misalignment can have a negative impact on the bite of the upper and lower teeth. This device is comprised of metal rings that are affixed to the upper first molars on both sides of the jaw and wires that rest on the grooves between the teeth.


Headgear is an external type of dental appliance that’s no longer as commonly used as the other dental appliances mentioned here. Its purpose is to correct severe overbites and underbites by carefully and slowly repositioning the upper and lower jaw to their correct positions.


Retainers can either be permanent or temporary fixtures. They usually follow the extended use of braces to straighten out your teeth and their purpose is to help your teeth maintain their fresh new alignment, preventing them from slowly shifting back into their old crooked positions.


Tooth positioners or aligners are usually the final step in the teeth straightening process. They serve as an alternative to retainers and their main function is to hold your newly straightened teeth in place until they’re fully settled in their new positions. With proper care, this process shouldn’t last longer than eight weeks.


Spacers, also known as separators, are a segue dental appliance that consists of implanting tiny rubber donuts in the limited space between the teeth to push them apart and make room for other dental appliances needed for further dental treatment.

At Princeview Dental Group, we’ve been practising dentistry for 20+ years in the heart of the Kingsway in Toronto. Our professional approach to our patients means we’ll always take the time to fully explain your circumstances as well as your treatment options. Our goal is to make our patients as comfortable as possible while they’re in our care. If you have any questions or if you’d like to book a consultation with us, please call (416) 231-4562.

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