What Are Palatal Expanders?
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What Are Palatal Expanders?

If Dr. Rhoda Lockett has recommended that you receive a palatal expander, you may want to know more about this device. We’ve put together a list of the most commonly asked questions regarding palatal expanders:

What is a palatal expander?

A palatal expander is used to direct and guide the growth of the upper jaw of younger orthodontic patients. Once it’s been placed in the roof of the mouth, the palatal expander will widen the upper jaw by apply pressure to the top molars. This will allow your teeth to fit together more comfortably, and provide room for new teeth to grow in.

Why might I need a palatal expander?

There are several reasons you might need a palatal expander, including:

  • Insufficient space for permanent teeth currently erupting
  • A crossbite in the back with a narrow upper arch
  • A crossbite in the front with a narrow upper arch

How long will I need to wear a palatal expander?

Your palatal expander will usually need to be in place for a few weeks or a month in order to achieve the necessary amount of expansion. However, once this goal is reached, you’ll still wear the expander for an addition six months in order for the bone to stabilize in the correct position.

Are palatal expanders painful?

You shouldn’t experience any pain with your palatal expander. However, you may find it difficult to speak and swallow for the first few days until your mouth is used to the device. Make sure you’re expanding the palatal expander as instructed by Dr. Lockett, so that your progress is made on schedule.

For more information on palatal expanders, or to set up an appointment at our office, please contact Lockett Orthodontics, located in beautiful Denver, CO.

Posted on Jan 21, 2016

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