The development of new appliances to correct jaw discrepancies has led to the elimination of the use of headgear in most orthodontic cases. Two of the appliances that Dr. Durbin uses are the Herbst appliance and the MARA appliance. Both of these appliances are designed to move the lower jaw forward to correct the Cl II relationship seen in many of our patients. Unlike the headgear, these appliances are cemented to the teeth, so there is no need to remember to put the appliance on. The appliances are generally worn for 8-12 months in conjunction with the braces. The first few days after placement of these appliances can be a little challenging in terms of eating and talking, but our experience is that our patients quickly adapt to the appliance and have few problems after that initial transition period.
One way to prevent a MARA or Herbst emergency is to place a wet cotton roll between your cheek and the appliance for the first week. This will prevent a sore from developing as the tissue "toughens up".
The most common Herbst emergency occurs when the rod comes out of the tube as a patient opens very wide. This is easily taken care of by opening wide again and simply placing the rod back into the tube. If you are unable to open far enough, you can also unscrew the screw holding the rod in place using the allen key we gave you at the Herbst placement appointment.After unscrewing the screw, place the rod back in the tube a replace the screw. If in doubt, you can also call Dr. Durbin at home at 847-818-0850 for assistance.
If the rod is poking your cheek in the back, please call the office as soon as possible so we can adjust the length of the rod and avoid further discomfort.