Have you ever heard of the headgear appliance? The old, archaic and thoroughly unenjoyable appliance that used to be the go-to for fixing an ‘overbite’ in the ‘80s and ‘90s? It turns out that with advancements in technology we now have the Carriere® Appliance to help with bite correction!
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It is not uncommon for one’s upper teeth to stick out in front of their lower teeth. In technical terms this is referred to as a Class II malocclusion, the prevalence of which is approximately 20-25% of the population. For whatever reason, this type of bite is referred to by the general public as an “overbite” which is not technically correct. The correct term is “overjet” — and the way that we explain it is that the upper teeth “jet” out in front of the lower teeth.
Overbite is an unrelated problem and you can read more about the differences on our common orthodontic issues page. It is possible to have an overjet and overbite simultaneously, or one without the other. Regardless, both are less than ideal and require orthodontic treatment to fix. Aside from the appearance, having an overjet can lead to jaw-joint issues and wear of the back teeth!
Each of our patients present with their own set of conditions so an assessment is made on an individual basis but in general when fixing an overjet we want the upper teeth to come back and the lower teeth to come forward. Whether or not any jaws grow forward or backward ultimately depends on one’s age and their genetics. We ideally like to time the overjet correction around the growth spurt as that gives the best chance to accelerate any jaw growth that has been pre-programmed by DNA. Although we can improve an overjet in an adult, it is all tooth movement and no jaw growth. For adults that seek a significant profile change we recommend jaw surgery.
Now that we’ve cleared this up, there are many different appliances that we can use to fix an overjet. Some of the common names you have likely read or heard about are Headgear, Herbst, MARA, and Crossbow appliances. They all ultimately work in the same way but with the Carriere Motion Appliance we’ve chosen an appliance that we believe to be the most efficient, convenient, and comfortable!
Benefits of the Carriere® Motion Appliance
A picture is worth a thousand words. Orthodontic advancements make treatment much easier than ever before.
The Carriere® Motion Appliance is used for approximately 6 months. After this period of time, the overjet is corrected but the teeth are not aligned. In fact, during the process of fixing the overjet, the upper front teeth tend to actually get spaced out and orthodontic treatment is then required to close the spaces and align the rest of the teeth with either braces or Invisalign for 12-18 months.
The appliance consists of 3 components :
Bars – metal or ceramic – that are glued onto your upper side teeth.
Elastics that are removable, worn full time, and replaced throughout the day.
An appliance covering the lower teeth.
Carriere® Appliance Options
For the appliance on the lower there are two options, depending on how we will be straightening your teeth after:
Not sure if you want braces or Invisalign®?
In these situations, we start with the clear plastic retainer on the lower at the beginning and once the overjet is corrected, we decide which direction to go. This way there’s no pressure and you have 6 months to decide. The plastic retainer is also like a training device to see if you will be comfortable with removable aligners. However, the benefit of starting with Invisalign® from day 1 is that it speeds up your treatment time since we start aligning your lower teeth at the same time that we are fixing your overjet.
Have some additional questions? Here are some common questions related to Carriere® Motion Appliances.
If I am going to be selecting braces to straighten my teeth, how come I can’t start with braces from the beginning like with Invisalign?
The elastics with the Carriere® Motion Appliance are strong and will over power braces. This will cause the lower teeth to move in different directions. The most effective way to control the lower teeth during the Carriere® Motion Appliance is a retainer or aligner that covers and joins all the lower teeth together.
I am concerned about esthetics. What options do I have?
The Carriere® Motion Appliance is the most esthetic appliance to correct an overjet. It is glued onto the sides of your mouth so you barely see it. That being said, if you wish for it to be even more esthetic and discreet there are two things we can do:
- Use a clear version of the appliance.
- Glue it to one tooth behind where we normally glue it.
Is there anything you can do to minimize the spacing you get between your teeth during the first 6 months?
Yes, although the spacing actually makes it easier to straighten the front teeth once we are done fixing the overjet. That being said, if you don’t want your front teeth to space out during the Carriere® Motion Appliance stage, we can give you a sectional aligner to wear for your upper front teeth. Alternatively, if you wish to do braces after, we can put braces on your front teeth.
What if I lose the lower appliance?
Not a problem! If you have a retainer, because we have 3D printing capabilities we can print a new retainer at no charge. If you have Invisalign®, we recommend just going onto the next aligner and staying in it for longer.
Ready to Take the Next Steps?
If you have been wanting your dream smile, our team at Walt Orthodontics is happy to help you achieve that! Call us to book a complimentary consultation.
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