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FAQ:  Orthodontist Palate Expanders

Jaw Expansion Appliance
Expander Alternative: Extraction Orthodontics
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My son who is 11 years old has crowding in his upper and lower jaws.

The dentist recommended expanders for both. He said that not much space would be needed in lower jaw but would use an expander to be on safe side.

At 11 years old would an expander be beneficial for lower arch or is jaw already formed? .... Visitor from SD

Yes... expanders are a "treatment standard" for creating more space in the upper and or lower jaws, in children AND adults.

An alternative treatment for making space is a procedure called extraction orthodontics which can cause cosmetic changes that are not desired by some patients.

The changes caused by extracting teeth, depending on which teeth are extracted, are so severe for some patients that the procedure is sometimes reversed and dental implants are used to replace teeth that "should be there" in terms of what smile is supposed to look like.

At best, extracting teeth is considered to be a controversial treatment option, unless molar teeth are being extracted. Some dentists avoid it altogether.

Editorial Staff

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