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Palatal Expanders
Haddonfield, NJ


Two Dr. Amy James and Associates Orthodontists patients smilingPalatal expanders are oral appliances that are used to cure common dental conditions. They are most often used in pre-adolescent children as it is best for treatment before the jaw is fully developed.
In some cases, expanders may also be useful for teenagers and adults. If you are suffering from a crossbite or a narrow upper jaw, a palatal expander may be recommended by your dentist to correct it.

What Are Palatal Expanders?


Palatal expanders are used to increase space in a child’s mouth by slowly widening the upper jaw. Although this may sound scary, it is an easy and tolerable procedure. Here is when palatal expanders are necessary:

Impacted Teeth


An impacted tooth is one that is blocked by the gums or other surrounding teeth. Your dentist is likely to suggest an extraction to prevent disease or jaw misalignment. Palatal expanders can widen your jaw and allow permanent teeth to emerge properly.

Crossbites


When your upper and lower teeth do not align properly, you have a crossbite. This typically occurs when the bottom teeth are positioned outside of the upper teeth when you close your mouth. Palatal expanders can often help treat this kind of malocclusion.

Crowded Teeth


Sometimes, baby teeth can loosen but then attach back to the gums. This hinders the eruption of permanent teeth. If these milk teeth are not extracted in time, crowding occurs inside of the mouth where there is lack of space for teeth to grow in.

Types of Palatal Expanders


Expanders are customized for each patient according to their dental arch and palate size. Here are the 4 most common types of palatal expanders:

Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)


This is used to rectify crowding, narrow palates, and crossbites. The RPE is attached to some of the back teeth in the upper jaw with a screw in the middle. The aim of this appliance is to widen the upper jaw, enlarge the dental arch, and position the teeth within the jawbone.

Removable Palatal Expander


A removable expander is opted for when a patient only requires minimum jaw widening. It is made of stainless steel, and has a clear acrylic frame that surrounds the teeth. Removable palatal expanders look quite similar to acrylic retainers.

Implant-Supported Expansion


Implant-supported expanders are most suited for mature adolescents. As their jaw is almost fully developed, heavier appliances are needed to widen the jaw and palate effectively. This expansion procedure comprises four mini-implants that exert pressure to the maxillary bone.

Surgically Assisted Palatal Expander


Adolescents who have reached puberty usually have a well-developed jaw. However, in some cases, the jaws do not mature completely until the age of 21-25. If this is the situation, then a dentist fixes an expander into the palate bone.
Although it takes some time to get used to palatal expanders, they do not hurt while you wear them.

Our office also offers orthognathic surgery, if your have an improper bite or your jaw is positioned incorrectly.

If you feel you have a crossbite, impacted teeth, or crowded teeth, contact Dr. Amy James and Associates Orthodontists by calling us at 856-216-8009 today.

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