Attached to the upper molars, the Palatal Expander is a comfortable custom designed orthodontic device used to create a wider arch form in the upper jaw. It is typically used when the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw or when the upper teeth are crowded or blocked out of the dental arch.
When patients are still growing, their connective tissue between the left and right halves of their upper jaw is very responsive to expansion. By simply activating the expander through turning a screw in the center, with a special key we provide, gradual outward pressure is placed on the left and right halves of the upper jaw. This light pressure causes an increased amount of bone to grow between the right and left halves of the jaw, ultimately resulting in an increased width.
- This appliance will gently widen (expand) your dental arch.
- Place the key all the way into the hole. It only takes a light touch to place the key in the hole. Turn the key down (towards the back of the mouth) as far as it will go. Follow the direction of the arrows. The next hole must completely appear. This will allow you to place the key into the appliance next time you need to turn it. When you are removing the key from the hole be careful not to turn the appliance backwards.
- Follow the schedule Dr. Weinstein gave you for turning the appliance. If you are unsure what to do, stop turning the appliance and call our office.
- If there is substantial pain or dizziness, stop turning the appliance and call our office. It is normal to feel some pressure in the region of your upper teeth and nose. Likewise it takes several days to become comfortable with speaking, swallowing and eating with this appliance. Try drinking extra water with each meal.
- A space will open between the upper front teeth. Do not get alarmed this is an expected change. The space will disappear as we proceed with the treatment.
- Please use your toothbrush to clean your teeth and appliance. With good oral hygiene, you can protect against cavities and gum disease.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact our office.