Palatal expansion is an orthodontic treatment that aims to widen the roof of your mouth. The benefits of expansion are many:
Reduces the need to remove adult teeth for orthodontics
Helps adult teeth erupt into a healthier and straighter position (which improves long term gum health)
Helps the jaws fit together (reduces underbites and overbites)
Reduces asymmetric jaw growth
Reduces traumatic occlusion (which reduces wear on the teeth and helps protect the TMJ)
Makes more room for crowded teeth
Broadens the smile for esthetics
Helps upright flared teeth that have a high risk of trauma
Increases the size of the airway, which can help reduce mouth breathing, sleep apnea, and in some cases avoid surgery to remove the tonsils and adenoids
Increases the size of a narrow palatal arch
Expansion needs to be completed before a child finishes going through puberty, as the two bones in the roof of your mouth fuse at the end of puberty and can no longer be moved apart without surgery. This is why we recommend bringing your child in when they are growing. Expansion can be done in extreme cases as early as age 3, but most kids are evaluated for an expander starting at age 7.
The expanders we use at Synergi Orthodontic Specialists are 3D printed! This means no uncomfortable separators wedged between the teeth and no uncomfortable and hard to clean metal bands around teeth. The 3D printed expanders are smaller in size for improved comfort and because of this, they can be used in conjunction with speech therapy. Finally, being able to make these 3D printed expanders from the digital scan we take at your free consultation appointment, eliminates two extra appointments that were traditionally needed for expanders!