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What Are Dental Appliances And How Do They Work?

dental appliances

We are so lucky that the advanced dental technology today has opened a lot of better solutions to address our dental problems. Dental appliances are among these dental technologies that help boost our oral health faster and in a more convenient way.

Before going to the dentist, it’s best to have some knowledge of how these dental appliances work and how they can help improve our oral health.

What are dental appliances?

Dental appliances are orthodontic and dental devices that help improve the alignment of your teeth, correct your bite, and replace missing teeth.

These devices protect fractured or extremely damaged teeth due to cavities. Dental appliances also help people suffering from sleep apnea and excessive snoring to sleep better and improve their overall health.

Different kinds of dental appliances

There are two types of dental appliances to improve your oral health. These types give you an option to either have a one-time dental treatment for the application of a permanent dental device or consider a more affordable solution to your dental problem. These  types are as follows:

1. Permanent dental appliances

Permanent dental appliances aim to bring back the joy of having a complete set of teeth without dealing with the wear and tear of dental devices over time. These treatments also help save and maintain damaged teeth from further complications like infections. Here are the different kinds of permanent dental appliances:

Dental bridges

A dental bridge is a permanent partial denture that replaces the lost teeth. The natural tooth surrounding the lost teeth will be covered with dental crowns to serve as the support for the bridge. The dental crown is cemented to the natural teeth to keep the false teeth and natural teeth intact and aligned.

Dental crowns

A dental crown is a tooth-like cap that fits over your natural tooth. First, your dentist will decrease the size of the tooth, get its impression, and put a temporary crown on top of it. They will use the tooth impression to build the actual dental crown in their dental laboratory.

Getting the impression of your tooth and building the actual crown may take two visits to your dentist. However, some dentists have in-house tooth-milling devices that can produce your real dental crown the same day they get your tooth impression.

There are several types of dental crowns which include:

  • Ceramic crown
  • Porcelain crown
  • Gold-plated crown
  • Base metal alloy crown

Dental fillings

Fillings are dental appliances used to fill the hole in the tooth due to decay or fracture. Your dentist will remove the decayed part of your teeth and use a dental filling to cover and bring back the tooth in its natural shape. These dental appliances have the same color as your teeth so, after treatment, it doesn’t look like you had fillings at all.

Dental implants

A dental implant is a permanent dental appliance planted into the jawbone as a substitute for the missing tooth. Dentists use a special alloy where the bone cells attach to it over time. The metal will connect to the jaw bone within two to six months. Then, the dentist will put a post on top of the metal to attach the crown.

This treatment can be expensive but provides advantages like:

  • A dental implant doesn’t decay.
  • It’s a permanent solution for tooth loss and the best alternative for dentures.
  • It’s durable and can handle normal chewing.

Dental braces

Braces are orthodontic devices used to improve teeth alignment and bite problems. The goal of this dental appliance is to add force to the teeth to move it towards a better position. The constant pressure allows the jaw to build new bone structures that will support the adjusted position of the teeth.

The duration of wearing braces depends on the severity of your case. It can last for six months up to three years for complex cases. There are several types of braces available on the market:

  • Metal wired braces
  • Gold-plated braces
  • Lingual braces(bonded to the back of the teeth)
  • Titanium braces
  • Clear aligners

2. Removable dental appliances

Removable dental appliances are dental devices used temporarily or during a specific time within the day. They help patients in dealing with tooth loss, teeth protection from external impact during sports events, and improve teeth alignment. These dental devices include the following:


The most common form of a removable dental appliance is dentures. Complete or partial dentures help people who lost almost all of their teeth to bring back the normal function of their mouth. It is the best solution for people who can’t afford dental bridges or implants.


Retainers are dental devices that help in making sure that your teeth stay in their new position post braces treatment. Some people use it during night time to maintain the correct alignment of their teeth while sleeping. However, some dental cases may require patients to wear their retainers all day.

Mouth guards

Mouthguards are dental appliances used to protect the teeth and the gums against external harm or injury. They are also useful in preventing teeth grinding or bruxism during sleep.

Dental appliances for sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition where the muscles around the tongue and throat relax and block the flow of air to the lungs during sleep. The following dental appliances help patients with sleep apnea to sleep comfortably:

Cosmetic and Restorative Dental Treatments at Dr. Roy Jennings Dentistry

Tooth loss and other dental problems should not hinder you from enjoying life. Life is too short to stop smiling. Let your dentist and these dental appliances help you bring back your confidence again.

Dr. Roy Jennings Dentistry in Monroe provides dental care treatments with the help of dental appliances to improve your oral health. For more information about your dental concerns, you may schedule an appointment with us now.

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