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Orthodontic Appliances

Dr. Wigal and team members posing with patientsOrthodontics doesn’t just use braces to give people beautiful smiles. At Wigal Orthodontics, we have a variety of appliances that can be utilized to address a wide range of orthodontic issues. These may be used before, after, or during another treatment in order to ensure you achieve the best possible results. Thanks to Dr. Timothy Wigal’s expertise and attention to detail, he’ll know exactly which appliances to use to give you a strong, healthy, and perfectly straight smile.

Young man with healthy flawless smile

Hyrax Expanders

Your upper and lower jaw play a big factor in the alignment of the teeth. If a child’s upper jaw isn’t developing properly, this can cause the teeth to crowd and prevent their mouth from properly closing. This can lead to problems such as an overbite, underbite, or cross bite, all of which can cause long term dental problems. Simply aligning the teeth won’t correct these issues. That is where the Hyrax Expander can help.

The Hyrax Expander is a device that can be used to gently widen the hard palate (upper jaw) in order to improve a patient’s jaw and teeth alignment. It’s ideally used to help children as the bones in the jaw don’t actually fuse together until a later age.

The small metal device consists of a bar that stretches across the hard palate and is anchored using rings placed around the back teeth. The expander is gradually widened by turning a special “key” in a “keyhole” located in the middle of the device. Over time, this will expand the upper jaw, which will create room for the teeth to be moved using additional orthodontic treatment.

Teen boy with flawless straight teeth


After a patient has undergone any kind of orthodontic treatment, be it braces or Invisalign, a retainer is needed in order to maintain their beautiful results. A retainer is a small, plastic appliance that is reinforced with thin metal wires that are also used to help keep it in place. It will be made from an impression of a person’s teeth, and they are completely removable.

Immediately following treatment, a patient will be asked to wear their retainer(s) as much as they can, only taking them out to eat or brush their teeth. After enough time has passed, eventually a patient will only need to wear their retainer(s) to bed.

This stage of “orthodontic maintenance” is often just as important as the treatment itself when it comes to achieving lifelong results, so be sure to follow Dr. Wigal’s instructions so you can keep your new smile and avoid having to get additional orthodontic treatment in the future.