Types of Expanders and When They are Most Effective

by John
Types of Expanders

Taking your child to the dentist for orthodontic treatment has one significant benefit, helping enhance their overall wellbeing. Expanders in Roslyn are an orthodontic treatment that plays a huge role in improving your child’s smile. However, these dental devices are not preserved for children and teens. Adults too can wear the appliances to help create room in their mouths, allowing them to grow properly. In enhancing the child’s smile, an expander corrects a crossbite, fixes overcrowding and shifts misaligned teeth, moving them in position.

Unfortunately, having the appliance in your mouth should prepare you for a different experience. For instance, you should expect an extra creation of saliva in the mouth for a few weeks or mild discomfort after a few days of placement.    

Types of expanders and how they function

Expanders’ designs are unique, depending on every patient’s dental arch and palate size. The

common types of expanders your dentist is likely to suggest include:

Rapid palatal expander (RPE)

The expander corrects narrow palates, crossbites and overcrowded teeth. Your dentist fits the

device in your upper jaw with an adjustment screw at the center of the appliance.

Your doctor will advise you to turn the screw slowly daily to create impact and trigger

tension between the palatal bones to activate the device. The goal during the treatment is to enhance your upper jaw,

increase the arch and shift teeth on your jawbone.

Implant-supported expansion

The appliance is mostly ideal for mature adolescents because their jaws are fully developed. The

treatment entails four small implants that dispense heavy force to widen the narrow

jaw and palate effectively. The best part of the treatment is that the expander directly applies the force on the upper

jaw and not on the teeth.

Removable palatal expander

Your dentist will most likely recommend the dental device when you need a minor jaw

expansion. You are likely to confuse these expanders with retainers because of their resemblance.

However, unlike the acrylic retainers, the removable palatal expanders come in chrome.

Surgically-assisted palatal expanders

These appliances are a preserve for dental patients, especially mature adults who do not have

fully developed jaws. Your orthodontist surgically inserts the appliance

into your palatal bone during the procedure.

Who is likely to benefit from a palatal expander?

Your child’s permanent teeth replace his baby teeth between the ages of 6 to13. Unfortunately, some children have jaws too small to accommodate their permanent adult teeth, leading to overcrowding or misalignment. Therefore, the treatment is ideal when you want to:

  • Minimize overcrowding. The appliances create space for the young one’s upper teeth to sprout in their correct positions.
  • Correct a crossbite. A narrow bite is likely to bite inside your lower teeth. In such an instance, your dentist might recommend an expander to correct the problem before you develop a chronic asymmetrical jaw growth.
  • Minimize the development of impacted teeth. An expander creates space for impacted teeth by widening your upper jaw.

Using a palatal expander to expand your child’s upper jaw enhances his smile aesthetically, shortening his treatment time, especially if the child is to fit for braces or aligners.   

Crooked and misaligned teeth can be aesthetically unpleasing, whether in children or adults. Contact your orthodontist to know how you can benefit from palatal expanders.

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