Home Health Palatal Expander: How It Works

Palatal Expander: How It Works

by Paul Petersen

What Is a Palatal Expander?

A palate expander is an orthodontic item that widens the maxilla. It is primarily used to treat a posterior dental crossbite, relieve dental crowding, expand the smile arc, and widen the floor of the nasal cavity to promote nasal airflow. A dentist in Springfield, VA uses palate expanders on their own or in conjunction with other orthodontic tools including braces, functional appliances, or headgear. Palatal expanders are classified into two types: fixed expanders, which are bonded to the teeth, and detachable expanders. In this blog post, we will discuss how palatal expanders work and at what age they give the best results.

How Expanders Work

An expander is manufactured specifically for each individual and fits over numerous front teeth in the rear of the mouth. The appliance consists of two parts that are screwed together in the middle. To activate the gadget, simply turn the screw a tiny bit each day using a specific key. This creates strain at the intersection of the two palatal bones, causing them to eventually separate. Once the correct expansion is achieved, we will keep the device in place for a few months to allow new bone to grow into the gap and consolidate the enlargement. Expanders are typically used for three to six months.

At What Age Is a Dental Expander Helpful?

Palatal expansion occurs more quickly and successfully before the union of the palatal suture. This is why it is commonly used in early orthodontic treatment (also known as early interceptive therapy or phase 1 orthodontics) to create room before adult teeth emerge into the mouth. The palatal suture will fuse at the age of 14-15. When palatal growth is undertaken between the ages of 7 and 14, it generally includes a combination of skeletal and dental expansion. The younger the individual, the more skeletal the enlargement will be. If palatal expansion is performed as the patient ages, the mid-palatal sutures merge, and there is typically insufficient area for palatal expansion. In such cases, most of the movement occurs due to dental expansion.

In summary, palate expanders are dental devices used to treat a variety of problems, including crossbite and overcrowded teeth. They are most effective before puberty. There are several types of palate expanders. Some may be removed, while others are permanent in the mouth.
Palate expanders are typically used in youngsters for no more than a year.

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