For some patients, getting a palatal expander is an essential part of the orthodontic treatment plan. This procedure places gentle pressure on the molars of your upper jaw to help widen it. Dr. B may need to repeat this process each time you receive an orthodontic adjustment. The most common reasons that patients require a palatal expander are to correct a crossbite and to provide additional room for existing teeth, and teeth, which have yet to appear (erupt).
Once Dr. B feels that you have achieved the proper amount of expansion, she will provide you with an appliance for you to wear for the next few months. This helps to prevent regression of your expanded jaw into its previous position.
The Anatomy of Your Upper Jaw
Your jaw is made of two equal halves separated by a suture. If you run your tongue along the top of your jaw, you can feel the divide. This procedure initially separates the equal halves of your upper jaw, then widening the space between the two halves. While there are several styles of palatal expanders available, they all accomplish the same purpose.
What to Expect During a Palatal Expander Adjustment
Below are the steps Dr. B takes when she adjusts your palatal expander. You can also download a printable PDF for future reference.
- Tips your head back after ensuring proper lighting in the room.
- Places the key of the expander in its corresponding hole and makes sure it has a firm hold.
- Applies pressure on the key located at the back of your mouth. The fender rotates at this point to display a new hole. Rotation ends when the key and the back of the expander meet.
- Applies gentle pressure to dislodge the key. The new hole to insert the next key should now be easy for her to see.
Adjusting the palatal expander
You can download these instructions in a printable PDF document.
Downers Grove Orthodontics
1330 Ogden Avenue Downers Grove, IL 60515
Fax: (630) 566-1500
Serving Downers Grove, Lisle, La Grange and Woodridge, IL.
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