Orthodontic headgear/neckgear is a very important part of orthodontic treatment for some patients.
Maintaining proper and constant use of these appliances will help to achieve the best possible result. If instructions on usage are not followed, treatment time will be prolonged and the outcome compromised.
Take your headgear with you to every appointment so that it may be adjusted and the proper tension applied. Your teeth may be sore for the first few days of wear following an adjustment. This tenderness will lessen as your teeth adjust to the new pressure.
Many patients seek orthodontic treatment to align their teeth, but additionally require treatment to coordinate and properly align the upper and lower jaws for both cosmetic and bite improvement needs.
The purpose of headgear or neckgear therapy is two-fold:
Neckgear or headgear are terms used by othodontists to distinguish the direction from which the traction, or force, is most advantageously directed. These appliances are "extra-oral," or out-of-the-mouth force systems as opposed to "intra-oral" rubber bands which are utilized inside the mouth. Neckgears are used on the majority of patients and are sometimes referred to as cervical-pull headgear. Headgears that go over the back of the head (occiput) are called occipital-pull or high-pull, headgear.
The timing of favorable growth, considering both amount and direction, is critical for success when treating either a jaw or tooth problem. In this regard, it is advised that patients wear the head or neckgear the advised number of hours. This varies depending on the unique presentation of each patient but usually is 12-14 hours per day for 6-18 months.
Some patients present with the upper front teeth behind the lower front teeth (otherwise known as a crossbite or "underbite"). This usually results from primarily three reasons.
The reverse headgear appliance is used primarily to "pull" the deficient upper jaw forward, and more rarely, to move the upper teeth forward when they are positioned too far back. The reverse headgear is a removable appliance that attaches to either a cemented upper brace or fixed archwire. The direction of traction is opposite of the more commonly used neckgear which pulls backwards. Reverse-pull headgears are designed to aid in repositioning the upper jaw towards a more forward position in the face.
The timing of favorable growth, considering both magnitude and direction, is critical for success when treating either a jaw or tooth problem. In this regard, it is advised that patients wear the reverse-pull headgear the advised number of hours in order to optimize results. This varies depending on the unique presentation of each patient, but usually is 12-14 hours per day for 6-18 months.