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FAQ:  Orthodontist Palate Expanders


Jaw Expansion Appliance
Expander Alternative: Extraction Orthodontics
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Question:
Expander or Retainer? My daughter is almost 8 years old. One of her canine teeth fell out almost 18 months ago.

We have taken her to an orthodontist who suggests a partial retainer to pull back one of her front teeth and move the other one over to allow for the canine to come down. He also states she may need a pallet expander later and definitely braces at a later time.

Can expanding her pallet cause TMJ? ... Visitor from MA

Answer:
Your daughter's problem is rather classic. Sounds like her adult lateral incisor incorrectly forced her baby canine loose enough that it fell out. This is called Ectopic Eruption caused by crowding. Judicious care will resolve this rather easily.

Retainer versus palatal expander....that is a bit confusing to me. If she needs to be expanded....she should be expanded. If she needs to be retained.....she should be retained. The concept of starting out with a retainer, only to end up with an expander is certainly unusual. Are you dealing with a Board Certified Orthodontist?

The concept of expansion is a fine one. TMJ problems often arise from not expanding early enough. Expansion does not cause TMJ problems. If your daughter needs expansion, I suggest that you do so now.

Editorial Staff

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