What is a Palatal Expander?
A palatal expander is a type of orthodontic appliance that aims to increase the size of the palate. In many children and young adults, the upper palate is too narrow. This can cause problems concerning overcrowding as well as proper occlusion. A palatal expander is used to spread out the teeth, thus resulting in a wider palate and more even bite.
Why would a Palatal Expander be needed?
The reason you may need a palatal expander is because your upper jaw is too narrow. A narrow upper jaw can have a seriously negative impact on the way that your teeth look. This prevents the teeth from coming down into proper occlusion, which can cause issues with eating, chewing and even talking. A palatal expander is often used in conjunction with a more complex treatment plan.
Who is a candidate for a Palatal Expander?
With the help of x-rays and an examination, our doctors can determine if you would need a palatal expander. Oftentimes, this part of orthodontic treatment is started before braces and other appliances are used. This is simply because the device helps to open up the upper jaw, which can help other treatments to work more effectively.
What happens during treatment with a Palatal Expander?
The palatal spreader will be attached to the upper teeth via brackets or small rings that fit over the teeth themselves. We will provide you with a small key and instructions on how to properly turn the expander. This key is inserted into a small hole inside the mouth and pushed either forwards or backwards. This turn of the key applies pressure to the expander, which will push against the teeth from the inside, or palate area. You may only need to wear this appliance for a matter of a few months in order for treatment to be effective.
If you would like to come into the office to learn more about palatal expanders, call us today to schedule a consultation. Our office has low wait times, convenient discount plans and a snack and beverage bar to improve your time with us.