Types of Appliances

elastics (rubber bands)

Rubber Bands (Elastics)

Wearing elastics (or rubber bands) improves the fit of your upper and lower teeth (your bite). If you wear your rubber bands as instructed by Dr. Altherr, they work more efficiently and this helps you to complete your treatment faster.




The Forsus Fatigue Resistant Device is an alternative to rubber bands in non-compliant patients. 




Headgear is used to treat patients whose upper jaw and teeth are too far forward of the lower jaw and teeth.  Also, this appliance can be used when the lower jaw and teeth are too far forward of the upper jaw/teeth. Headgear gently "pulls" on your teeth/jaws to help Dr. Altherr modify their growth.


herbst appliance

Herbst® Appliance

The Herbst® appliance modifies the growth of your jaws when the lower jaw is too far back than it should be. This fixed appliance is used mostly for younger, growing children and is worn for about 9-10 months in our office.


palatal expander

Palatal Expander

The palatal expander "expands" (or widens) your upper jaw by putting gentle pressure on your upper molars each time it is turned. Dr. Altherr and his team will instruct you about when and how to adjust your expander. When you achieve the desired expansion, you will wear the appliance for about 2 months longer to solidify the expansion and to prevent regression.





Retainers may be removable or fixed (bonded or glued to your teeth). They hold your teeth in their final positions after your teeth have been straightened by orthodontic treatment. Dr. Altherr will instruct you on how to care for your retainer and about the duration of the wear. Wearing your retainer as directed is crucial to prevent regression of your treatment, keep your smile looking great and protecting your investment of time and money.



Separators or Spacers

Separators are little rubber doughnuts that may be placed between your teeth to push them apart so that orthodonticmetal bands may be placed during your next appointment. The separators will be removed before we place the bands. Separators do not mix well with sticky foods, toothpicks, or floss.

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(919) 363-2221 1011 W. Williams St, Suite 101, Apex, NC 27502

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