When do you need a palatal expander? How do palate expander facial changes work? Several orthodontic appliances can help improve the appearance of your smile. One of these is using a jaw widener known as a palatal expander. This article will explore the different types of palate expanders, how they work, and how the treatment changes your facial appearance.
A palatal expander can help treat various dental concerns. It is a custom-made orthodontic device used to widen the upper jaw or the roof of the mouth. It literally extends the cartilage between the bones of your palate, creating space for new bone to develop.
These dental devices are common among young children since their palates are not entirely developed. Nevertheless, some orthodontists recommend that palatal expansion is possible in adult patients, though the procedure is more challenging.
Different Types of Palatal Expanders
Palate expanders come in various types that you may want to explore with your orthodontist. Knowing these different types can give you an idea of the overall options available.
Rapid Palatal Expander
A rapid palatal expander is a traditional device used for upper jaw expansion. These dental appliances incorporate the Haas and hyrax expanders. Additionally, the method is frequently referred to as rapid maxillary expansion.
Schwartz appliance is similar to the rapid palatal expander that needs regular cranking with a key. Though this is a removable expander, you need to wear them 24 hours a day, except when brushing your teeth, eating, swimming, or playing sports. In addition, you can wear the appliance around the upper or lower teeth.
Quad Helix Appliance
Quad helix palate expander is a fixed device that does not need cranking. The device can widen the front or back of the jaw, and it bends with the palate, pushing the teeth outward for expansion. The process is slower than rapid palatal expander but is similar to the W arch appliance.
What Do They Treat?
A narrow palate can cause various dental problems. The more significant part of which is the possibility that your mouth is not adequately enormous to accommodate your teeth.
Crowding may imply that your mouth is not adequately large to accommodate all of your teeth. You can get palate expansion to make your mouth bigger, excluding the need to remove permanent teeth.
Crossbite happens when the upper jaw fits inside your lower jaw. In fact, this condition can prompt other orthodontic issues and influence your smile. Widening the upper jaw can help make proper teeth alignment.
An impacted tooth occurs when your mouth does not have enough space for the tooth to erupt. In that case, jaw widening can help create necessary space in the mouth.
An exceptionally limited jaw can obstruct airflow in the nasal sections, causing breathing problems like sleep apnea. Getting jaw expansion can open these sections and improve breathing.
Patients with cleft palate will sometimes require to widen the roof of their mouth before undergoing corrective surgeries.
Your orthodontist usually completes the palate expansion procedure before giving other treatments like braces. This is because correcting bite issues is necessary to have successful teeth straightening.
How Do They Work?
The orthodontist attaches each half of the device to a half of the palate. That is why traditional palate expanders work by using a special key. The key wrenches the device, widening the space between the separate halves.
The orthodontist will give you the key and show you how to make the adjustment at home. They will also let you know how much and how frequently to adjust it. Make sure to follow the instruction of your orthodontist and be consistent with the adjustment.
Generally, cranking will cause an increase of around one millimetre a week. This probably will not seem like a lot, but it is significant that you take it easy and not rush the procedure. In fact, the ideal way to do the palate expansion is to do it slowly. This makes both the roots of the teeth and the jaws adjust. If you rush the adjustment, it can result in more dental work in the future.
Will The Jaw Expander Change Your Face?
Some individuals report incredible changes in their faces or kids’ faces, and others do not see any difference. The changes could be because of the differences in the level of expansion. It could likewise come down to how gradual the process is.
If there are any changes, it probably centres around the nose and upper jaw. These changes could make your nose appear flattered, and your smile might become wider. For youngsters, whose appearances are as yet developing, changes happen regardless. In fact, it is hard to determine what is the result of palatal expander treatment and what can be credited to a natural development process.
A space of one or two millimetres can appear between your front teeth when the orthodontic appliance is in use. The device will pull the teeth apart since they are connected to a different palatal bone. After the treatment, the orthodontist can recommend a set of braces to improve the result.
Palatal Expanders For Adults: Is it Possible?
A palate expander for adults is up for debate. Some sites will tell you that palate expansion for adult patients is impossible since they have a fully developed palate. In fact, the results are usually mixed when some grown-ups do undergo treatment with palate expanders.
Adults who get the treatment do as such with the help of surgical procedures. The doctor will cut the palate to separate the two bones joined during puberty. Nonetheless, a few efforts are necessary to expand developed palates without the intervention of jaw surgery or other surgical procedures.
A 2000 study found that Haas expander was considered somewhat successful in adult patients, though not nearly as successful as it was for younger patients. Another study noted that nonsurgical palate expansion in adults works differently. The vast majority of the widening begins with the alveolar process, the bone on which teeth develop instead of the palatal bones.
In any case, palatal expansion works best in children ages eight and twelve since their jaw is most flexible to outside change. Palatal expansion for older patients usually takes longer, is more complex, and has fewer permanent outcomes. Nevertheless, successful palatal expansion in adults is still possible.
Getting Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatment is a popular method to improve the alignment of your teeth. Although this approach is very common in children, adults can still get its benefits.
The cost of the treatment may depend on who your orthodontist is, where you live, and your overall treatment plan. In any case, palate expanders usually go around $2000 to $3000. Dental insurance frequently includes the expense of palate expanders, but that can still rely upon the reason for the treatment.
If you want to know other possible options, make a schedule with your dentist. You and your dentist will work together to determine the best course of the treatment plan for a healthy, appealing smile.
How Upper Jaw Expansion Works and How it Can Help Your Child.
Obstructive sleep apnea.
Facts about Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate.