One of the benefits of early orthodontic treatment is that Dr. Hamilton and Dr. Manuele can use your child’s natural growth process to treat or even prevent problems with teeth alignment. We may recommend a palatal expander to help make room for all the teeth in your mouth to fit comfortably, preventing future problems such as impacted teeth. We invite you to contact us at 702-243-3300 to learn more about palatal expanders in Las Vegas, Nevada, and to schedule your child’s consultation with our orthodontists.
Palatal expanders create more space in a child’s mouth by gradually widening the upper jaw (maxillary expansion). Although they sound scary, they are not! During the younger years of development, the upper jaw develops in two separate halves, and does not completely fuse together until puberty. Before that time, the two halves of the jaw can be separated gently with a retainer-like appliance called a palatal expander. This expansion happens over a period of a few months, and then stabilizes over a period of several more months.
Palatal expanders are commonly used to correct:
- Crossbites – when a child’s upper jaw is too narrow to fit correctly with the lower jaw, the top back teeth will bite inside the lower teeth instead of outside. This can be corrected by expanding the upper jaw. Correcting a crossbite can help insure the jaw’s do not grow crooked causing chin or lower jaw deviation.
- Crowding – if there is not enough room for all of the child’s permanent teeth to come in, then widening the upper jaw may create the necessary space without requiring any teeth to be extracted.
- Impacted Teeth – Sometimes a permanent tooth cannot come in correctly because it is blocked by other teeth. Widening the upper jaw can allow the tooth to erupt into the proper position on its own and reduces the risk of needing surgery to bring these teeth in. This is most common with the canine teeth (cuspids).
There are several additional benefits to expanding the upper jaw. This treatment can broaden the smile to make it more pleasing, improve breathing, and shorten the amount of time your child will need braces in the future.
Let Dr. Hamilton and Dr. Manuele determine if this early treatment option is right for your child. Call our office today to schedule your appointment!