As children grow, they often experience the problem of insufficient space in their mouth for permanent teeth to come in. When left untreated, this could result in misalignment of teeth or overcrowding, which may require the use of an orthodontic expander. An orthodontic expander is an appliance used to widen the jaw. It works most efficiently when natural bone growth is still occurring.
Generally, people refer to this device as a palatal expander. It is made specifically for each individual and is placed over several of the top teeth in the back of the mouth. A screw connects the two halves in the middle. A special key will be turned every day which will activate the device. This puts pressure on the palatal bones, until the right separation is accomplished. The key is to be turned once or twice every day to achieve the correct results. Some soreness may be experienced when the key is turned. In some patients, speaking and eating may be affected for a short while.
When Might This Treatment Be Needed?
Instances in which orthodontic expansion may be used: 1. Insufficient space for permanent teeth 2. Impacted teeth 3. Misalignment of teeth
Can Adults Use Orthodontic Expanders?
Orthodontic Expanders are seldom used on adults. This is because adult bone tissue growth is complete, which would make the procedure much more uncomfortable than in young people. If our experienced orthodontists in Still Water feel that orthodontic expansion would be appropriate for you, they will discuss it thoroughly with you.