Bite Correction with the Herbst Appliance  Woman biting apple 2

Among other technologies, the new smaller and improved Herbst appliance has revolutionized the way Dr. Merz treats bites with protruding upper teeth due to a receded lower jaw. The Herbst is comfortable, eliminates the use of head gear, and is highly effective without the need for patient compliance or help. Once placed, few appointments are also required with up to 12 weeks between visits.

One of the most common problems orthodontists treat is the discrepancy that occurs when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower. Ordinarily, when we see a patient with the upper teeth protruding, we tend to think that the upper jaw and teeth are too far forward.  But more often than not, this condition is due to a small lower jaw that is further back than it should be.  With these patients, we would like to encourage the lower jaw to catch up in growth, and braces like the Herbst appliance help this happen.

Who is it for?

The Herbst is worn during the growing years.  Children around the age of 9-10 who have deficient lower jaw growth resulting in protruding upper teeth.

What does it feel like?

There is about a week of adjustment to get used to something new.  For the first 24 hours the muscles feel stretched and Tylenol is recommended to alleviate this discomfort.  After this initial adjustment period the appliance is easy to wear.  A small price to pay for a no hassle correction and no headgear.  Even though the Herbst appliance prevents the lower jaw from moving backward, opening and closing movement still occur easily, and patients do not have any problems learning to chew their food with their lower jaw in this new position.

Does it show?

No…Only if you want to show your friends.  The appliance is 100% hidden inside the mouth, unlike headgear.

How is it different from Headgear?  

Unlike headgear, the Herbst is 100% hidden.  It is more effective than headgear because compliance is a non issue.  It is more effective than headgear in encouraging lower jaw growth rather than restricting upper jaw growth.  Used by an experienced orthodontist, the resulting smile and facial esthetics is far superior to headgear giving a balanced attractive profile.


Torrey Pines Orthodontics

Address: 12264 El Camino Real, Suite 109, San Diego, CA 92130 
Phone: (858) 755-9990

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