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FAQ:  Orthodontist Palate Expanders

Jaw Expansion Appliance
Expander Alternative: Extraction Orthodontics
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Palate Expansion: My son has very little room for his permanent teeth to come in on the top and bottom.

We have been using serial extraction for the last couple of years (about 8 teeth). Are palate expanders less painful?

Do they yield better results? Is this something I should suggest to his dentist? ... Visitor from AR

You are going to a good orthodontist.

This is such an effective way to treat a child who is severely crowded and lacks the room to accommodate all the permanent teeth. The goal is to eventually remove the upper and lower first premolars, which will allow the permanent eye teeth to erupt without being blocked out of alignment.

Your child will still require a comprehensive phase of orthodontic treatment to align the teeth and bite, however he will be limited to one phase of orthodontic treatment for about 16-22 months.

Are expanders less painful? They are not painful. They are a little uncomfortable at first, however patients adapt easily with their speech and swallowing.

Do they yield better results? It all depends on the case, but your questions are pertaining to your child's case and I can assure you that if your child has significant amount of crowding there is no amount of expansion that will create enough room to accommodate all the permanent teeth in his mouth.

Actually expanding in those types of cases where teeth need to be removed can end up severely affecting esthetics and can possibly cause gum recession in the future.

Now, should you suggest this to your dentist? I do not have your records, but if your orthodontist is using serial extraction, he understand diagnosis and treatment planning and he is doing the right thing.

Editorial Staff

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