At our dental practice, we are dedicated to helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. One of the tools we often use in orthodontic treatment is an orthodontic expander. This device plays a crucial role in creating the necessary space in your mouth for proper alignment of your teeth and jaws. They address several dental issues, including crossbites, crowded teeth and impacted teeth.

What is an Orthodontic Expander?

An orthodontic expander, also known as a palatal expander, is a device designed to widen the upper jaw. This is particularly important when the upper jaw is too narrow to fit properly with the lower jaw, which can cause issues with bite alignment and overcrowding of teeth. By gradually expanding the jaw, we can create the necessary space for teeth to align correctly, which can significantly improve both function and appearance.

How Does an Expander Work?

Orthodontic expanders work by applying gentle pressure on the upper jaw over time. This pressure stimulates the growth of new bone in the mid-palatal suture, the area where the two halves of the upper jaw meet. The expander is typically adjusted by turning a key in the center of the device, which gradually increases the pressure and widens the jaw. This process is generally slow and controlled, allowing for a gradual and comfortable expansion.

The Process and What to Expect

The process of using an expander begins with a thorough examination and consultation. We will take X-rays and impressions of your teeth to create a custom expander that fits perfectly in your mouth. Once the expander is fitted, we will provide detailed instructions on how to adjust it and care for it properly. Here is a summary of what to expect:

  • Initial Fitting: We will fit the expander to your upper teeth and ensure it is comfortable.
  • Adjustments: You will need to adjust the expander at home, usually once or twice a day, following our specific instructions.
  • Follow-up Visits: Regular visits to our office will help us monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Retention: After the desired expansion is achieved, you may need to wear a retainer to maintain the new width of your jaw until the bone stabilizes.

Benefits of Orthodontic Expanders

Using an expander offers numerous benefits. By creating more space in the jaw, we can improve the alignment of your teeth and jaws, which can enhance both your oral health and your appearance. Proper alignment can make it easier to maintain good oral hygiene, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, a well-aligned bite can improve chewing and speaking, as well as alleviate any discomfort associated with misalignment.

If you think an orthodontic expander in Boise, Idaho, might be right for you or your child, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our dentists at Emerald West Dental. Dr. Chad Hess, Dr. Randy Moss or Dr. Hayden Hess can determine the best treatment plan to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. Call us at 208-323-2294 to start your orthodontic journey.

See for yourself the kind of dental care we can do for you by scheduling your consultation. Call us today!


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