The Herbst appliance is used to correct the front-to-back relationship of the upper and lower jaws. The rod and tube that is used actually connects the upper and lower jaws. This really does not interfere with opening and closing your mouth or with eating. You might find side to side movement is somewhat restricted.
Adjusting To the Herbst Appliance
1. The bottom screws may irritate the lip. This will resolve in a few days. To help the
process, you can put Orabase on the inside of the lip and cheek where it is sore. You can also place wax over the screws to make it smoother. Sometimes a dental cotton roll placed inside your cheek might be helpful to keep your lip and cheek away from the screw while you are sleeping.
2. The teeth will come together so that you can chew normally in about a week, so be patient.
3. As the Herbst Appliance makes corrections to the jaw relationship, a patient will notice that the back teeth will not meet, making chewing difficult. This is normal and necessary for the progression of treatment. As this situation arises, altering the diet to soft foods works best to get through these changes.
1. Occasionally, a screw may come loose and you will have a rod or tube dangling in your mouth. If this is causing pain, call our office and we will replace the rod and tube. If it is not causing pain, it can wait until the next day or over the weekend until Monday.
2. Infrequently, the Herbst Appliance can come loose or break. If you have a problem with something
coming loose or breakage, please contact our office. If it is not causing you pain and you can function, you can wait until the next day or over the weekend. However, if you cannot function normally or there is pain, please contact the office and we will correct the problem as quickly as possible.
As a result of their experiences, our doctors feel that the Herbst appliance is the best and quickest method to correct certain bite problem. It is fully contained within your mouth and does not show. Any time something new is placed in the mouth, it takes time to adjust to it. Please be patient during the adjustment period, it will be over before you know it.