Types of Orthodontic Appliances | Buttram Orthodontics

Types of

Orthodontic Appliances

Orthodontic Treatment Options

When Dr. Buttram creates your personalized treatment plan, it may include any of these orthodontic appliances to achieve beautiful results in the shortest amount of time.  

What do orthodontic appliances do?

Orthodontic appliances have a variety of uses. They’re effective for facilitating more efficient tooth movement, holding space in the mouth for permanent teeth to grow, and/or helping to support proper growth and development of the jaw bones.

Palatal Expander

Palatal expanders are a common appliance used in early orthodontic treatment for children whose jaw bones are still developing. These appliances serve to widen the upper jaw to create the necessary space for teeth to erupt in a healthy alignment. Palatal expanders can help prevent crowding and impaction by guiding proper development of the jaw bone.


The rapid palatal expander (the most common type of palatal expander) is bonded to the upper molars on both sides of the top jaw, with a screw located in the center of the appliance. To activate the palatal expander, you’ll insert a special key to turn the center screw, which expands the device ever so slightly and widens the palate gradually over time.


If your child requires a palatal expander, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about cleaning it, activating it and caring for it.

Teeth Separators or Spacers

Spacers, also called separators, are small rubber bands that help to create the space necessary for bands of appliances to be placed. A metal band is placed around the back molars to anchor the arch wires in place. In cases where the molars are too close together to allow these metal bands to be placed, separators may be used.


Separators are temporary appliances that are only worn for about one to two weeks before active treatment begins.

Nance Appliance

The Nance appliance is used to hold the upper molars in place, to prevent them from rotating or shifting forward. With this appliance, two metal bands are cemented around the first molars and a wire connects the back molars to an acrylic pad, located behind the two front teeth.  

Lower Lingual Arch (Space Maintainer)

The lower lingual holding arch is a space maintainer used to hold the necessary space in the mouth for premolars to grow. It has metal bands that go around the two lower molars, with a metal wire spanning from the molars, around the inside of the bottom teeth. 


The lower lingual arch appliance establishes the proper foundation that shapes the lower arch in a healthy alignment.   

Banded Bite Plate

A banded bite plate serves to correct a deep bite (overbite) condition. This appliance fits behind the upper, front teeth, and disables the rear teeth from meeting when the mouth is closed, which allows these posterior teeth to develop properly. Over several months, the deep bite will be corrected!

Quad-Helix Appliance

Quad-Helix Appliances widen the upper jaw with metal bands around the top molars and active helix springs lining the arch. These appliances are usually fixed, and they are effective for treating crossbites and crowding. 

Pendulum Appliance/Distal Jet

The Pendulum Appliance and Distal Jet is hidden in the roof of the mouth and used to shift the molar teeth to create the necessary room for other teeth to erupt in alignment. This appliance treats crowding and various bite misalignments by using metal bands around the back molars, wires bonded to the middle teeth, and an acrylic plate that rests behind the front teeth. 

Carriere Distalizer

When the upper teeth protrude too far forward, a carriere distalizer may be used. It consists of a small metal framework attached to the upper molars, with a spring-loaded mechanism that exerts gentle pressure on the upper teeth, gradually moving them backward. 


Guiding the canine-to-molar area of the mouth at once, this appliance helps align the bottom teeth and top teeth, and promote healthy alignment of the jaws.

Experience a stunning new smile

And enjoy the journey along the way.