When most people think of orthodontic treatment, they think of braces. However, depending upon your specific issues, your orthodontist might recommend other treatments. One treatment orthodontists use on a regular basis is an expander.
What an Expander Does
An expander is used to widen the palate, or the roof of the mouth. It is sometimes also known as a palate expander or a palate spreader. This can create more room in your mouth if your teeth are crowded. It is most often used in younger patients whose permanent teeth have not yet come in. If it looks as if there will not be enough room for the permanent teeth, an expander can create enough extra room to make additional orthodontics unnecessary, or greatly reduce the amount of time you might need to spend wearing braces in the future.
An expander is used to widen the palate, or the roof of the mouth. It is sometimes also known as a palate expander or a palate spreader.
One advantage to using an expander with younger patients is that the bones of the palate have not yet fused. This makes it much easier to move them in order to create additional space. However, expanders can also be used with adult patients.
How an Expander Works
The expander is placed against the roof of the mouth. It is gradually widened using a screw. Your orthodontist will keep track of how much your palate has expanded. When the goal has been met and there is enough room in your mouth, the expander is removed.
Not everyone who receives orthodontic treatment will need an expander. You might just need braces to move your teeth into position. However, if your teeth are very crowded, or if your child’s mouth lacks room for permanent teeth, an expander might be the appropriate treatment to ready the mouth for further treatment in the future.
The right combination of treatment is vital to achieve your goals for your teeth. If you are interested in orthodontic treatment and would like to find out what the best choices will be for you, please contact any of our convenient orthodontic offices to schedule an appointment for a consultation.