Adult Braces: Use Of Expanders

use of expanders

Published by Dr. Charles Gemmi

A Board Certified Orthodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Charles Gemmi has been a practicing orthodontist with Orthodontics Limited since 2000 and is a member of the teaching staff at Einstein Medical Center. Orthodontics Limited is a Diamond+ Provider of Invisalign in Philadelphia and Hatboro, PA.

Are you one of those adults that needed braces as a kid but there was just no way that was going to happen? Yes, there are an awful lot of us in that boat. Not all of us were lucky enough to get braces when we were younger. Lots of “extras” that people take for granted today just were not options when we were young.

Fortunately, there is still a wonderful opportunity to have a smile that you’re confident in showing. Take a quick look at the short video below:

Teeth Crowding

One of the things that many adults struggle with is crowded teeth. It’s very common, and looks even more pronounced for some people as their jaw lengthened over time but stayed quite narrow. Narrow upper jaw development has also been linked to insufficient nasal respiration in some people, such as mouth breathers. This is something that you really need to be aware of because it can cause many other problems later on in your life, like sleep apnea.

With constriction of the palate, which is often seen in mouth breathers, you may be constricting your airflow. The less room in your mouth, the less room there is for air to get in. Because of this, you may need expansion in your palate in order to improve your breathing. By improving your breathing, you are going to be improving your overall quality of life. Also, if you are a mouth breather, this can lead to a whole host of other problems, including, but not limited to, dental decay or caries. The drier your mouth is- which for mouth breathers, their mouths become pretty dry- the higher the likelihood of your teeth developing cavities or caries. This is because there will be less saliva soaking your teeth, and saliva helps the prevention of cavities or caries in your teeth.

It is important to treat teeth crowding and constricted mouths or palates as soon as possible. This is why we highly recommend you schedule a visit or consultation with our Philadelphia orthodontists to see how we can best serve you. If you were not one of the lucky ones that was able to have orthodontics treatment as a child, we do not want you to have to wait any longer to be treated. The longer we wait, the more difficult and complicated your treatment options may become. That is exactly why we recommend you come to see us as soon as possible if you are an adult and are interested in orthodontics treatment whatsoever. We will work with you to develop the most ideal, optimal plan that is tailored to and suited for your individual needs and desires.

Expansion or jaw widening is an effective way to treat this condition. In some cases this may be done in advance of wearing adult braces. Expanders painlessly and gently help your palate grow wider—thereby making room to straighten your teeth. Typically, there is a small key that is turned at certain regular intervals.

Many patients are often confused by the use of expanders, especially when it comes to adult orthodontics. With orthodontics treatment, each patient has an individual treatment plan that is catered to their needs as well as their wants. Because of this, you may or not be a candidate for expanders. If you are though, we want you to be aware of the reasons and options. Although, we also want you to be aware that during your consultation visit with our Philadelphia orthodontists, we will go a lot more in depth about your specific, individual case.

With the use of expanders, it is important to remember that it takes a level of discipline. For most patients, the expanders have a keyhole, as mentioned prior, which needs to be turned every night. By turning the keyhole, you are in essence expanding your palate, or the roof of your mouth. Each time you turn the keyhole, the metal wire that goes from the right side of your upper jaw to the left side of your upper jaw will expand a tiny bit. By expanding minimally, the wire is actually allowing the bone of the roof of your mouth to expand or grow, albeit also minimally. With time though, and the continued turning of the expander, your palatal bone will have accumulated a decent amount of expansion and growth. Also, because we are expanding the bone little by little, each time, there is time embedded for healing of the bone. This makes the whole process less traumatic and more tolerable for patients as well.

Expanders are not something to be afraid of. It is a very common appliance that we use in orthodontics treatment. Whether adult orthodontics or child orthodontics, we make sure to offer you the most optimal treatment plans that are best tailored to your specific needs. Because of this, you may or may not be the perfect candidate for the use of expanders. Again, this is something that we will go into a lot more during our orthodontic consultation with you.

Regardless of the particular appliances and/or treatment plan our Philadelphia orthodontists Dr. Gemmi and Dr. Middleberg recommend for you, the bottom line is that you are going to feel fantastic about the change in your appearance. It will take some time and effort, but the results will definitely be worth it!

Isn’t it about time you considered having the self confidence that comes from a beautiful smile? Talk to our Philadelphia orthodontists Dr. Gemmi or Dr. Middleberg about the details of adult braces.

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