Dr. Greg Jorgensen
(505) 891-9440
1401 Barbara Loop SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87124

The Jorgensen Orthodontics Blog

Kiss Your Overbite Goodbye with Forsus Springs

Posted by Dr. Jorgensen on October 19th, 2012

Forsus4One of the most common questions new orthodontic patients ask me is “Do I need headgear?” For years, headgear was the most common way to fix overbites. Over the past 25 years there has been a gradual shift away from headgear, so much so that it is now very rare to see anyone wearing it. Not only has this change come about because kids don’t like it, but also because there are now excellent alternatives that are more acceptable to today’s youth. One of these is the Forsus Spring.

Protrusive upper teeth can be the result of upper teeth that are too far forward, lower teeth that are too far back, an upper jaw that is too big, or a lower jaw that is too small (this being most common). If your orthodontist determines that your overbite can be resolved by moving the upper teeth back while allowing the lower teeth to move forward an equal amount, he may recommend inter-arch springs (connected between your upper teeth and your lower ones). I have used many spring designs over the past 25 years but have never been as impressed as I am with the Forsus made by 3M Unitek.

I like the Forsus spring because 1) it is hidden inside the cheeks and almost undetectable, 2) it allows normal mouth movements and is well tolerated by patients, 3) it is tough and rarely breaks, 4) it causes very few emergencies, 5) it has few undesirable side effects, and 6) it is non-removable by the patients so it cannot be misplaced or forgotten. The Forsus spring is made out of nickel titanium so it provides a constant, non-decaying force. The bottom line is that IT WORKS!

The following video illustrates the Forsus spring (although the one pictured is an older model than we currently use):

Here is some useful information to make your experience with the Forsus spring as easy as possible. Like anything associated with your braces, it will take a couple days to get used to having them in your mouth. This is especially true at meal time. Besides having to relearn how to chew, it will also take you a few days to get the hang of keeping them clean. The springs work best when your teeth are together (because that’s when the force is in its most horizontal direction). To help keep your teeth together at night and “supercharge” their effectiveness, your orthodontist might recommend wearing light elastics between your upper and lower teeth while you sleep just to help you keep your teeth together. Forsus springs usually remain in place anywhere between 3 months to a year depending upon the severity of your overbite.

Although Forsus springs are generally trouble free, you should call your orthodontist if you notice any of the following: 1) the bracket on the upper back tooth where the spring is anchored becomes separated from the tooth or band, 2) the bracket on the lower front tooth (against which the spring pushes) either gets loose or the little steel tie comes off, 3) you notice any of the front teeth turning because of the pressure, 4) the spring doesn’t feel like it rebounds smoothly or it appears damaged, 5) you start to get an ulceration where the spring rubs against your cheek, 6) you start to get spaces where there shouldn’t be any, or 7) if you think that the spring has worked too well and your bite is overcorrected. Examining your springs daily and notifying your doctor when you notice anything out of the ordinary can help keep you on schedule and avoid setbacks due to breakage or overcorrection.

Forsus springs are the best overbite correction technique that I’ve used in 25 years. Although they are not appropriate for everyone (especially those with lower front teeth that are already flared), they are an effective way to make the upper and lower teeth fit correctly. Does your orthodontist use Forsus springs?

NOTE: The author, Dr. Greg Jorgensen, is a board-certified orthodontist who is in the private practice of orthodontics in Rio Rancho, New Mexico (a suburb on the westside of Albuquerque). He was trained at BYU, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Iowa in the United States. Dr. Jorgensen’s 25 years of specialty practice and 10,000 finished cases qualify him an expert in two-phase treatment, extraction and non-extraction therapy, functional orthodontics, clear aligners (Invisalign), and multiple bracket systems (including conventional braces, Damon and other self-ligating brackets, Suresmile, and lingual braces). This blog for informational purposes only and is designed to help consumers understand currently accepted orthodontic concepts. It is not a venue for debating alternative treatment theories. Dr. Jorgensen is licensed to diagnose and treat patients only in the state of New Mexico. He cannot diagnose cases described in comments nor can he select treatment plans for readers. Because he has over 25,000 readers each month, it is impossible for him respond to all questions. Please read all of the comments associated with each article as most of the questions he receives each week have been asked and answered previously. The opinions expressed here are protected by copyright laws and can only be used with written permission from the author.

295 comments so far in response to “Kiss Your Overbite Goodbye with Forsus Springs”

  1. Grace Furman says:

    I was wondering if you could get forsus springs without having braces

  2. Meimei says:

    Which one is better, forsus or herbst? Why? Thanks.

    • Both work, but I like the Forsus because it is more flexible for the patient (allows more natural jaw movements) and is easier to put in and take out during treatment.

  3. John Schmidt says:

    Does the operation of putting on the forsus spring hurt?

    • Actually getting the Forsus is completely painless. There will be a period of adjustment for a few day (and the teeth will get sore as them move), but you will get used to them very quickly and they work very well.

  4. Louise says:

    Can the forus appliance be used if you have incognito lingual braces?

    • The Forsus Spring attaches to the outside of the upper molar and the wire on the lower in the area of the lower bicuspids and canines. I cannot think of how it could be adapted for inside braces.

      • Thang Nguyen says:

        I have forsus for my incognito braces.
        There is a bracket for forsus that gets glued on to the lower front teeth.
        The forsus spring is attached between this bracket and the upper molar band (this molar band covers the whole surface of the teeth, from inside to outside, so it has the braces wire attachment on one side and forsus attachment on the outside).

        • I have also used the Forsus on a patient with lingual braces. We had lingual on the top with a “tube” on the upper molars and lower braces on the outside. It worked just fine.

  5. xavier says:

    Hi, I have an overbite of 8mm, but it gradually became 10mm after shifting my teeth. Now I have these. May I ask if my overbite will ever be fully corrected?

    • 10mm is a very large “overbite.” I cannot answer that question for you specifically because a lot depends upon your bone structure, the position of the teeth at the start, and your biology. You will see improvement, but full correction is only something your own orthodontist can predict.

  6. Kate says:

    My daughter’s dentist said my daughter has a progressive overbite and need to wear Forsus appliance for one year. Is this common?

  7. Ibrahim says:

    I have and overbite My orthodontist said that forsus springs are used for someone under 14. And will do nothing for me (I’m 18 yrs. Old) and I should have rubber bands.Is that true?

  8. Gabby says:

    I had a very servere overbite and I had headgear but never wore it. A year or later I got springs like shown. They worked really well and I was happy with the results. It’s been about a month and I’ve noticed that my overbite is beginning to come back. Is this normal and fixable?

  9. Ayden says:

    How much do a set of Forsus cost?

  10. Cam says:

    I’m supposed to get mine off in less than 2 weeks but I don’t think I’m there yet. Is there anyway I can make them work faster?

    • Not really Cam. You need to follow all of the directions you’ve been given (i.e. rubber bands) and go to your appointment as scheduled. If they are ready to come off, celebrate! If they need a little longer, so be it. You’ll get them off soon and it won’t be the end of the world.

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