Growing children frequently experience a problem with insufficient room for permanent teeth to surface, resulting in overcrowding or misalignment. Frequently, it becomes necessary to use an orthodontic expander to provide space for teeth by a gradual widening of the jaw. This technique is typically most effective during the youngster’s natural growth process.
The process of orthodontic expansion involves the use of a custom-made device best known as a palatal expander. The appliance is placed over several teeth in the back of the mouth and has two halves connected in the middle with a screw.
A special key activates the expander by placing tension on the palatal bones each day, resulting in a gradual separation of the bones. Typically, one or two adjustments will be needed every day to accomplish the desired separation. A few moments of soreness or sense of pressure may be experienced by the patient. Generally the device stays in the mouth for a period of about three additional months to allow new bone to grow and to stabilize the expansion.
When Might This Treatment Be Needed?
Situations that might require orthodontic expansion: 1. Insufficient space for eruption of permanent teeth 2. Impacted teeth 3. Misalignments 4. Misalignments
Can Adults Use Orthodontic Expanders?
Expanders are used infrequently for adult treatment because the bone tissue is much harder and the procedure is more difficult and uncomfortable. Each situation is unique, and our experienced orthodontists in Woodbury will be able to determine if an expander is appropriate in your case.