If you’ve been recommended to use a palatal expander, it’s only natural that you’ve started wondering what is it and whether or not it’s going to help you out. This is a small appliance which is going to be fitted in your mouth. Its designation is to create a slightly wider space in your upper jaw. It is used when you have issues with overcrowding teeth or if your lower and upper molars do not fit together. Even though this is something used in children, it’s also not unheard of for adults to take advantage of it as well.
Your upper jaw as well as the palate is known as your maxilla. This is formed from two bones which are fused together in the middle of your palate. This area is known as the midline suture. The width of your palate can actually be slightly increased because of separation of the two bones at the location where they would usually join at the aforementioned suture. The appliance which is used in order to accomplish this is called a palatal expander. It’s going to cause tension on the suture which is going to cause your body to react by depositing a new bone in order to maintain the widened position. In the meantime, additional space for your teeth is also going to be created.
This particular expansion is indicated when your upper jaw is actually too narrow. This usually leads to an evident cross-bite which is rather unpleasant. If that’s the case, in the majority of cases there won’t be sufficient space for your adult teeth to get properly aligned and some people could also be forced to shift their jaw in a certain side in order to bite down. With this in mind, there are a few things that might cause you to get this appliance:
Generally the patients would have the expander for somewhere between four and seven months. However, the amount of time is strictly individual and based on the correction which is necessary. At least several months are going to be necessary in order for the bone to form and move to the necessary and much desired width.
It can, in some cases, but not necessarily. Some people might actually need braces because their teeth have grown crookedly or with a lot of additional space in between them. This is something that a palatal expander can’t help you with. However, if the necessity for wearing braces stems from a cross-bite or overcrowding teeth than it might be able to assist. It is best to consult with an orthodontist in St. Louis and they will be able to help you select the best treatment.