The Pros and Cons of Palate Expanders

Posted on 02/15/2016 by Dr. Lovrovich
A young boy in need of a palate expander!

A palate expander is one of the most common ways that orthodontists treat crossbites and crowding issues in the mouths of their growing patients. These devices attach to the upper jaw by bonding the system to the teeth or by placing bands around the teeth. The most successful expanders are fixed to the teeth, and they are often needed before braces in order to provide more room in the mouth.

Palate expanders are typically seen as an effective method for creating pace in the mouth before braces, and they are the preferred method over extraction of the baby teeth. These custom-made devices include a small screw-like feature in the center, and at certain times, the expander is turned or tightened in order to stimulate growth of the bone.

Benefits of Palate Expanders

The decision to choose a palate expander for your child will be up to you and your orthodontist, and there are a variety of benefits to going this route:

  • No surgery required in order to remove the teeth
  • A palate expander takes advantage of your child’s natural growth
  • Reduce mouth-breathing and snoring by increasing the size of the nasal passages
  • With early intervention, your child might not need a tooth extraction
  • A palate expander makes orthodontic treatment easier

Shortcomings of Palate Expanders

Like most treatment programs, there are some shortcomings associated with palate expanders for which you need to be aware before you choose this option. Palate expanders can be uncomfortable and may take a significant amount of time to see desired results. These treatment options are time sensitive, as they will work best when used before puberty, and they are high-maintenance, requiring considerable attention and care when it comes to turning the key and cleaning.

Do you need additional guidance on whether a palate expander is right for your child? Contact our office to set up an appointment.

4540 Sand Point Way NE, Suite 140
Seattle WA 98105-3941

Tel: (206) 525-7000
Fax: (206) 525-0479

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