Palatal expanders are most suitable for children who need overbite and crowding to be prevented. With this method, a device is used and fitted to the upper molar or at the back of the mouth to adjust and provide space in between the teeth. The palatal expanders are attached to the upper molars through the use of cemented bands or through bonding. The desired space is achieved by turning the screw attached to the center of the device. A special key is utilized to turn the screw gradually every day until the desired space is attained and is ready for further treatment or braces. The use of palatal expanders is time-sensitive in a way that it should be worn by those who are below 14 or 15 years old. To ensure satisfactory results, only obtain the services from a qualified orthodontist in your area.
Two types of palatal expanders
Surgical procedure – This type of palatal expanders are done through a combined surgery and orthodontic treatment. This is generally recommended and used when the procedure requires more than what the appliance can achieve. In this case, a customized appliance is made for the patient before the surgery. The surgical procedure involves intentionally fracturing the upper jaw, thereby creating several cuts in the bone. With this, the upper jaw is separated into movable segments, allowing the bone to grow in between the jaw line. After breaking the jaw bone, a new bone grows between the broken areas and allows the appliance to be attached and activated after the surgery.
Removable expanders – Removable palatal expanders are partially like dentures or false teeth. However, removable palatal expanders are made of chrome and are used in cases when there is only a minimal amount of adjustments needed on the jawbone. Removable expanders are commonly recommended among adults because they can easily follow the treatment procedure and they are easy to use as they are removable. A retainer is usually recommended to maintain the space in between teeth after the treatment but it all depends on the orthodontist’s evaluation, including the age of the patient.