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Types of Removable Orthodontic Appliances

Types of Removable Orthodontic Appliances


Removable orthodontic appliances offer a versatile and convenient solution for correcting a variety of dental misalignments and bite problems. Unlike fixed braces, which are bonded to the teeth, removable appliances can be taken out for eating, cleaning, and special occasions. This flexibility makes them a popular choice for both adults and children.

Types of Removable Orthodontic Appliances

Hawley Retainers
These are the most common types of removable appliance. They are typically made of acrylic and metal and are designed to keep teeth in their corrected positions after braces have been removed. Hawley retainers can also be used to make minor adjustments to the teeth.

Clear Aligners
These are a newer type of removable appliance that is made of a clear, plastic material. They are virtually invisible and are often used to correct mild to moderate orthodontic problems. Clear aligners work by applying gentle pressure to the teeth, gradually moving them into their desired positions. Invisalign is a popular brand of clear aligners.

Palatal Expanders
These appliances are used to widen the upper jaw. They are typically used for children who have a narrow upper jaw, which can cause crowding of the teeth. Palatal expanders are made of acrylic and metal and have a screw mechanism that gradually widens the jaw.

Lip Bumpers
These appliances are used to prevent the lips from pushing on the teeth. They are typically made of acrylic or silicone and are worn on the inside of the upper lip. Lip bumpers are often used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances.

Space Maintainers
These appliances are used to hold space in the mouth for a missing tooth. They are typically made of metal and are bonded to the teeth next to the missing tooth. Space maintainers help to prevent the teeth from shifting out of position, making it easier to replace the missing tooth later.

Functional Appliances
These appliances are used to correct jaw misalignment problems. They work by applying gentle forces to the jaws, guiding them into their proper positions. Functional appliances are typically made of acrylic and metal and are worn for several hours each day.

Benefits of Removable Orthodontic Appliances

There are several benefits to choosing removable orthodontic appliances over fixed braces.

Removable appliances are generally more comfortable to wear than fixed braces. They do not irritate the gums or the inside of the mouth, and they can be removed for eating and cleaning.

Removable appliances can be taken out for special occasions, such as weddings or job interviews. This can be a major advantage for adults who are self-conscious about their appearance.

Some types of removable appliances, such as clear aligners, are virtually invisible. This makes them an appealing option for adults who are concerned about the appearance of metal braces.

Removable appliances can be easily removed for cleaning. This can help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Removable appliances are often less expensive than fixed braces.

Choosing the Right Removable Appliance

The best type of removable appliance for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Your orthodontist will be able to assess your situation and recommend the most appropriate treatment option.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a removable appliance.

  • The severity of your dental misalignment
  • Your age
  • Your lifestyle
  • Your budget

Removable orthodontic appliances offer a convenient and effective way to correct a variety of dental problems. They are comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to care for. If you are considering orthodontic treatment, be sure to discuss the option of removable appliances with your orthodontist. They can help you determine if this is the right choice for you.


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What People Are Saying

  • I completed the BOSS UK Diploma in 2021 and when it became available, signed up for the AU course as well. I completed the AU course at the end of last year and can honestly say BOSS (now Digital Orthodontic College) has completely changed my approach to clear aligner treatments and increased my confidence with treatment planning immensely. The fact that the course is 100% online was a huge drawcard for me initially since I have two young children, work clinically part-time and run my own business. It allowed me the flexibility to study when I had the chance and didn’t result in any loss of clinical time. Dr V is extremely passionate about orthodontics and more importantly sharing her wisdom and that comes through in her approach to teaching. The course is extremely comprehensive (NB: the AU course has quite a few complex assessments) and covers everything starting from the basics of tooth movement, which sets a good foundation and is therefore suitable even for beginners. The monthly/bimonthly webinars allow students to share cases and is a safe space, non-judgmental and therefore an incredible learning platform. I had been doing clear aligner treatments prior to starting this course, but BOSS helped me see patients with new eyes and has overhauled my treatment planning approach. I would not hesitate to recommend this course to anyone interested in learning, or to extend their knowledge about, clear aligner treatments.

    Thank you so much Dr V!

    Dr Lora Banicevic, Dentist NSW
  • The Australian accredited 10905NAT Graduate Diploma of Digital Orthodontic Treatment offers comprehensive training in the field, gives the candidate the opportunity to do things in a self-paced manner, while getting a personalised 1-on-1 learning experience with Dr Vandana Katyal. It was an excellent choice for me and gave me the flexibility to get the well-designed training done in my own time frame. I would strongly recommend the course to any practitioners who is looking to upskill themselves with a no-compromise high quality course, while also having to juggle between busy practices and family schedules.

    Dr Charles Sun, Dentist WA
  • I started this course unsure of how much I would benefit. The in-person lectures were fantastic (although the course is now 100% online) where I made good friends and learned a lot. The online resources are extensive and second to none, accessible at your convenience. The webinars were great – usually with the right mix of teaching, cases demonstrated and the attendees’ cases being discussed. I was also invited to deliver a webinar on intra-oral scanners, 3D printers and in house aligner manufacturing (from a dentist’s point of view) – which I enjoyed.
    Most of all the course gave significantly more confidence what can be done with aligners, how plan the setup efficiently with the end in mind and how to make the processes to get there smoother. As a result, a MUCH larger chunk of my work is now aligner based. My conversion rate for aligner treatments has definitely increased along with my confidence. The course has easily paid for itself. Full disclosure: I was invited to deliver a webinar on intra-oral scanners, 3D printers and in house aligner manufacture to my BOSS batch mates, which I also thoroughly enjoyed doing. I declined any remuneration for this, although it was offered.
    Dr Shammi Moopen, Dentist VIC
  • Since I have joined the postgraduate diploma in orthodontics I have noticed all the applied practical learning/knowledge on my patients and I am only half way through the year. Dr Vandana is a genuine educator. She goes way beyond to simplify every lecture and I really like her evidence based information and that is available for us 24/7. Her webinars helped a lot for busy dentists and loved the feedback we get in the one on one sessions with our cases. It make us think every step of the way. But the best thing I like is to see she is giving back to the community and her association with Smile Train in helping children with cleft palate is just beyond words. Thank you so much for being nice and approachable.

    Dr Claudia Braybon, Dentist NSW
  • Received my Diploma in Digital Orthodontics from BOSS and couldn’t be more stoked! Huge shout out to Dr Vandana Katyal and the BOSS team for a wonderful year. I would recommend BOSS to every dentist no matter their level of experience with Orthodontics and clear aligners. Starting off with barely any orthodontic experience, I have commenced about 9 cases in the matter of months and BOSS gave me the confidence to predictably deliver results for my patients through clear aligners which are the future of modern orthodontics.
    Dr Sarang Sathe, Dentist NSW
  • I chose Boss’s clear aligner diploma because I wanted to know the latest evidence based practice to enhance my treatment planning and case execution. I now have a much better understanding of how to diagnose, what movements can be done and what will get me into trouble. The flexible nature of the course delivery also fit perfectly into full time work and my otherwise packed schedule. The monthly case presentation webinars are also great to not only get feedback from Dr Katyal, but also to validate your own thoughts self-assess and see how you are tracking with your learning.

    Dr Gregory Nguyễn, Dentist NSW

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