Orthodontic treatment aims to correct the movement and position of the teeth and the jaw. Orthodontic expansion is one of its staple procedures, which is designed to addresses problems like arch length discrepancies. Namely, it widens the upper jaw and aligns the upper and bottom teeth. Widening one of the jaws is essential because it leaves enough space for our specialists to mend the other, constricted jaw.
Devices with biomechanical mini-implants are the key to seeing our treatment process through. They enable our professionals to conduct orthodontic maxillary (upper) expansion and minimize undesired teeth movement. And make no mistake: this is not some experimental practice, but a reliable method of the orthodontic anchorage with a rich track record.
The first traces of palatal expansion date back to 1860s. Since then, of course, the techniques and devices have been refined almost beyond recognition.
How Does It Work?
The main device we use is called palatal expander, which is a custom-built orthodontic appliance. When bonded (cemented) to the posterior upper teeth, it can help even in severe cases such as collapsed maxilla, as it leads to gradual skeletal and dental changes. To be more precise, mini-implants alter the maxillary width, intercanine distance, as well as interpremoral and intermolar distance.
The screw is a crucial component that is used to activate or deactivate the appliance and generate a force that separates the two palatal bones. These skeletal changes occur in a controlled and predictable manner and they involve no major side-effects. Patients usually make one or two crew activations every day, until the desired level of enlargement is reached. In most cases, this takes place after two or three weeks, which amounts to around 50 activations.
After that, the screws are no longer activated, but the appliance stays in place for another three months. This is due to the fact that the bone tissue needs time to form and solidify. Another thing to bear in mind is that the expander is often used in synergy with other orthodontic tools such as braces. They are crucial in the second stage of the treatment, when the malocclusion correction process needs to be completed.
When Is This Treatment Needed?
There are various instances that prompt a professional expansion treatment: posterior and buccal crossbite, deviations and mandibular closure, crowding of the teeth, malocclusion, rhinologic and respiratory ailments, maxillary insufficiency, cleft lip, cleft palate, and impacted maxillary canine. Some of them, such as malocclusion, could also be corrected using different orthodontic processes.
And depending on specific conditions, there are several different types of expansion we employ: rapid maxillary expansion, slow maxillary expansion, implant-based maxillary expansion, and surgically-assisted rapid palatal expansion (SARPE). The rapid maxillary expansion is one of the most widespread preliminary treatments, which helps patients who have abnormal dental relationship or deviation of one of the jaws.
It usually centers on the process of the enlargement the upper jaw dental arch and the palate, bringing the width of the jaws back in balance. The additional benefit of rapid expansion is that it does away with the obstruction to the flow of air in a nasal cavity located above the palate. In other words, patients are able to breathe easier through the nose. What is not achieved by expansion is dental malposition correction. As we mentioned earlier, expansion is meant to harmonize the width of the jaws.
Is This Treatment For Children Or Adults?
The use of expander is most prevalent among children and experts argue that procedures are best carried out before a peak growth spurt. The reason is that after this natural occurrence, the expansion procedure leads to more dental than skeletal changes. Also, we should point out that the jaw width problems can be spotted early on and do not go away over time.
In fact, the upper jaw that is too narrow tends to cause mandible deviations and other problems such as tooth wear and periodontium. But, this is not to say that orthodontic expansion cannot be performed on adults. We assure you that this technique has been successfully applied to adult patients as well. The only thing to note is that adults may find the treatment less comfortable, as their jaws and bones have finished growing.
Remember that not only the age of the patient, but also the amount of correction needed determine how long the procedure lasts.
At Your Service
Each patient is unique and we are well aware of that. Ultimately, you are in full control and we like to explain each and every step, as well as advantages and drawbacks of taking them. For example, some patients may want to opt for a quicker solution. The good news for them is that exists and entails the process of surgically separating the upper jaw.
We use various other state-of-the-art procedures and equipment to ensure amazing orthodontic experience. Likewise, we keep up the pace with the latest trends in teeth and jaw correction processes. We know our patients deserve nothing less than the best palatal appliances and treatment protocols. Our orthodontists are trained in leading Orthodontic universities and regularly attend various seminars and conferences.
They possess extensive knowledge and skill needed for advanced procedures. And so the service excellence across oral treatment procedures is guaranteed.
Finally, it is a delight to say that you can choose between various treatment packages and stay within the limits of the budget. We take pride in customizing our service to different dental problems and specific needs of our patients. What is more, flexible payment options stand at your disposal. So, call us, send us a message, and let us make something happen. Our orthodontic expansion is your best shot to improve your oral health and quality of your life.