The Schwarz appliance is used in orthodontics to provide expansion and attain normal occlusal function. A narrow arch is a common orthodontic problem that can lead to severe crowding if left untreated. Correcting and preventing the occurrence of anterior or posterior crossbites using a Schwarz appliance must occur in a younger patient who is not yet fully developed.
How Does It Work?
The Schwarz appliance is the most frequently used removable appliance to develop a lower arch. A slow expansion occurs by turning a small screw in the center of the appliance at home weekly, or as directed by your orthodontist. Over time, the arch will develop and grow, expanding due to the pressure provided by the Schwarz. It is typically worn for about six months and in conjunction with braces to move teeth into their final position.
Is it Like an Expander?
A Rapid Palatal Expander is often used in the upper arch at the same time the Schwarz appliance is worn in the lower arch. Depending on the case, extra expansion may be necessary and the two work simultaneously to achieve the desired results. The expander is cemented in place on the upper arch and the Schwarz is worn on the lower arch and is removable, meaning it is not cemented in place. Both are turned using small keys at intervals determined by an orthodontist.
What Are the Benefits?
The Shwarz appliance can correct bad bites, severe crowding, impacted teeth, and even breathing issues. Guiding the growth process to expand the jaw prevents future complications that could be far more serious.
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