The Herbst is a bonded non-removable orthopedic device that is used to correct severe overjet/overbite, or deep bites. This appliance is predominantly used in adolescent patients because it requires active growth to be successful. The Herbst facilitates the growth of the lower jaw in a forward direction by positioning it forward and holding it there. It also simultaneously applies pressure to the upper jaw in a backwards direction.
Bands are bonded to the upper and lower molars on either side of the mouth and connected from top to bottom by telescoping arms. These arms are screwed to the bands by small screws with an Allen Wrench. These arms will not interfere with normal opening and closing of the mouth for talking or eating. In general, it is a good idea to cut up all of your food into small bites to aid in the chewing process for the first few days. Until your cheeks become accustomed to the appliance you may develop areas of irritation. You can use wax to smooth any uncomfortable areas, and sleeping on your back at night instead of your side may prove to be more comfortable. If tenderness in your teeth or muscles of the cheeks becomes a problem, Tylenol® or a similar pain reliever should provide relief. If the appliance ever becomes loose or a screw falls out, save any parts and call the office as soon as possible. We will provide you with an Allen wrench so that any loose screws can be tightened from the convenience of home. Normally, the Herbst is worn for approximately 9 to 12 months to take advantage of individual growth for optimal results.