At the orthodontic offices of Dr. James Homon and Dr. Kelly Carr in Powell and Delaware, Ohio, we offer a variety of orthodontic treatments to fit our patients' needs. While treatments like metal and clear braces are very popular, some of our patients require palatal expanders.
What is a palatal expander?
A palatal expander is used to widen the upper jaw so that the bottom and upper teeth will fit together better. The upper jawbone, or maxillae, is made up of two bones connected by a suture in the middle. This suture does not close until the early teenage years. The use of a palatal expander is most common in children, however many adults find success with them as well. Palatal expanders can be used to correct the following conditions:
- Teeth crowding
- Arch constriction
How do palatal expanders work?
Palatal expanders are secured to the roof of the patient's mouth, and often times must be turned once a day for a prescribed amount of turns. During this process, a gap will open between the two front teeth and the suture between the two jawbones is widened. Rest assured this gap will close by itself as soon as the expansion is completed. After expansion, the expander must stay in place for 6 months in order for the upper jawbones to grow back together and form a new suture.
If you think you or your child may be a candidate for a palatal expander, please contact one of our Powell or Delaware, OH office locations to schedule a consultation. We also offer traditional braces, clear braces and gold braces as well as WildSmiles Braces®, lower expanders and Herbst appliances.
Residents of the Powell and Delaware, Ohio areas looking for lower expanders, look no further! At the orthodontic offices of Dr. James Homon and Dr. Kelly Carr, we proudly offer lower expanders to our patients who need them. Read below for more information on lower expanders.
What is a lower expander?
Like its counterpart, the palatal expander, a lower expander is used to gradually widen the lower teeth to correct servere crowding before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Some signs that your child might require a lower expander are that:
- There isn't enough space for all of the lower teeth, causing crowding
- The back teeth may be leaning in toward the tongue
How does it work?
Dr. Homon or Dr. Carr will glue the lower expander in place on the inside of the lower teeth, beneath the tongue. Unlike the palatal expander, lower expanders do not need to be turned. Expansion is usually completed in 6 months. After expansion is complete, the patient will wear a bottom retainer at night for one year.
Lower expanders are one of the many orthodontic treatments that we offer. We also specialize in clear braces, retainers, WildSmiles brackets, Herbst appliances and cribs. If you would like more information on our services, please feel free to contact one of our Powell or Delaware, OH office locations. We look forward to serving you!
The Herbst appliance is used to correct skeletal imbalances where the lower jaw is behind the upper jaw (overbite). This correction occurs due to a combined restriction of upper jaw growth and an enhancement of lower jaw growth. The Herbst is used when the overbite is more severe and skeletal in nature.
The Herbst appliance has orthodontic bands that are cemented to the upper and lower molars. The appliance connects the upper and lower jaws with rods and tubes that position the lower jaw forward into a normal position.
In order to achieve the desired change in the skeletal pattern, the Herbst appliance is worn for one year. After the Herbst appliance is removed, you will either go straight into braces or wear a retainer at night until the rest of your permanent teeth erupt.
Lower Lingual Holding Arch
The lower lingual holding arch is designed to maintain the position of the lower molars as the baby teeth are lost. The permanent teeth that will replace these baby teeth are much smaller. By preventing the molars from moving forward, we can gain up to 5 mm of space to relieve crowding of the lower teeth. If this space gain is not utilized, it can often mean that permanent teeth must be extracted in order to alleviate the crowding of the lower teeth. The lower lingual holding arch is worn until all the permanent teeth have erupted.
Nance Holding Arch
The Nance holding arch is designed to maintain the position of the upper molars as the baby teeth are lost. The permanent teeth that will replace these baby teeth are much smaller. By preventing the molars from moving forward, we can gain up to 5 mm of space to relieve crowding of upper teeth. If this space gain is not utilized, it can often mean that permanent teeth must be extracted in order to alleviate the crowding of the upper teeth. The Nance holding arch is worn until all the permanent teeth are erupted.
Band and Loop
The band and loop is designed to maintain the space from the premature loss of a baby tooth until the permanent tooth has completely erupt.
The face mask is used to correct skeletal imbalances where the lower jaw is in front of the upper jaw. This correction occurs due to a combined restriction of mandibular growth and an enhancement of maxillary growth. The face mask will attach with rubber bands to the palatal expander. With the sutures mobilized by the expander, the face mask will be used to pull the upper jaw forward and correct the skeletal imbalance of the jaws. The face mask will be worn for 12-15 hours a day until an over-correction of the bite has been achieved (approximately six to nine months).
For our patients that thrust their tongue in a forward position, this appliance quickly redirects the tongue to a more normal swallowing position.
The appliance is glued in place and will usually stop the habit in the first couple of months. However, we will need to keep the appliance in place until the permanent front teeth overlap each other.
For our patients that suck their thumbs (or other fingers), this appliance is used to deter the habit. The appliance is glued in place and will usually stop the habit in the first couple of months.
However, we will need to keep the appliance in place until the permanent front teeth overlap each other.
You will notice that the two look the same because they are and many children with thumb habits also develop tongue thrusts.