Oftentimes your bite may not result in the upper teeth meeting the lower jaw in alignment. Or, in another instance, it might occur when one could be experiencing pain during the growth of the wisdom tooth. If your reason in both cases is because of the constricted space in your upper jaw then dental expansion therapy can help you.
Dental expansion therapy is an orthodontic treatment that involves widening the perimeter of the dental arch of the upper jaw in order to create space to accommodate growing teeth.
Rapid Palatal expander
The upper jaw expansion would depend mostly on the age of the patient and the reason for the treatment. In order to expand your upper jaw, the dentist would proceed with the treatment with the help of a fixed appliance, the rapid palatal expander (RPE). This is attached to the upper molars by either bonding it to the teeth or by using cemented bands. This appliance comes with a special key that is used to widen the space by turning a screw in the center of the appliance at certain points in time. This is meant to place outward pressure on the two halves of your child's upper jaw, for it allows the bone to grow between them. By making small adjustments on a daily basis, one would be able to gradually increase the width of the upper jaw.
Surgically assisted rapid palatal expansion (SARPE) is a combination of orthodontic treatment and surgery. This is used in cases when the expansion required is more than an appliance alone can achieve by itself. In such cases, a custom appliance is made before surgery. The upper jaw is calculatedly fractured during surgery in a manner to make multiple cuts in the bone, to make the upper jaw into movable segments. This is done to allow the bone to grow between the space when the appliance is activated after surgery.
These expanders look like partial dentures that are made of a material called chrome. These are typically used in cases when the dental expansion is minimal, and these are more likely to be recommended for adults than children since they easily comply with the treatment. This is essentially an orthodontic retainer that is be fitted to keep the space after treatment until all the permanent teeth, including wisdom teeth, have erupted.
Find out more about our orthodontic services by requesting an appointment with Phelps and Cohen Orthodontics today. Call our office at 408 298 3433 or requesting an appointment online.