Not everybody has enough space in their mouth to perfectly house all 32 teeth. In order for each tooth to appropriately grow, extra space must be created for those patients who suffer from overcrowded teeth. There are essentially two ways in which an orthodontist can make enough available space in the mouth. One way is through jaw expansion, and the other is by extracting the teeth .
Virtually anyone can experience tooth extraction, but an actual expander device itself can be utilized if the mid-palatal suture’s not completely mature and can therefore be stretched. This is common for children under 15 years of age. The dual parts of the suture can be slowly separated via the smallest activation of expansion screws that are part of the expander. If a space occurs in between teeth, particularly in the front, this indicates that the expander is working.
some problems that may be treatable with a palate expander include:
Posterior crossbite: Occurs when the upper teeth become too close to the back part of the lower teeth. This results in a narrow palate with the back of the upper teeth “biting” the lower teeth.
Teeth crowding: Lack of sufficient space in the jaw prevents the adult teeth from erupting in their correct positions. Crowded teeth can be aligned by palatal expansion, which may eliminate the need for teeth extraction.
Impacted teeth: Teeth that have not started erupting may become blocked by crowded teeth.
Breathing problems: This occurs when a high plate and narrow arc block air passages.
Palatal expansion may not do away with the need of your child to wear orthodontic braces but it can reduce treatment period for many jaw and teeth problems. In addition, it gives your child a beautiful smile helping to improve his or her self-esteem and confidence.
Lower arch expansion presents more issues since there’s no suture close to the teeth than can be expanded. Although an expander doesn’t actually have to be utilized for the lower arch, another alternative method called ‘uprighting’ can be used in order to expand the lower jaw. This method occurs through tipping off the patient’s teeth towards the direction of their cheeks. The gaps formed in the lower arch happen because of the shifting teeth rather than the movement of the bone. The tipping off the teeth process isn’t an issue. However, there has to be sufficient bones and gums surrounding the roots in order for this process to be utilized.
Most professional orthodontists completely understand that people do not want to lose their teeth and at all costs to avoid extractions. Therefore, they are open to discussing the available alternatives to expand the patient’s lower arch. What they will typically convey to you is that palatal expanders can’t be utilized and uprighting is the most popular and widely accepted method for expanding someone’s lower arch. They will likely also mention that expanders are favorable in each and every instance, and that orthodontic expanders has may not be the best way to go, particularly if you don’t have enough bones and gums surrounding your teeth. The next step is extraction. This is not what you want to hear.
It’s crucial that if you think perhaps your child may need professional orthodontic treatment due to their teeth appearing misaligned or inappropriately shaped, to not delay treatment. It’s preferable to perform orthodontic treatments on younger people before their teeth, jaw, and mouth have the chance to totally develop. However, more adults are continuing to come forward and seek orthodontic treatment to improve the health of both their teeth and facial appearance. So, there are many options available and suitable for adults as well.