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How Palatal Expanders Work
Posted on 4/26/2021 by Dr. James A. Krippaehne
How Palatal Expanders WorkPalatal expanders create more space in your mouth by gradually widening the upper jaw. We're sure this sounds scary and painful, but it's quite painless and easily manageable. Plus, if you get early orthodontic treatment, you can take full advantage of the natural growth process and prevent future oral issues.

At West End Dental, Dr. James Krippaehne and team can perform a routine dental checkup to check if you require palatal expansion.

Situations that Call for Palatal Expansion


The most recurring situation that calls for palatal expansion is crossbite. This is a dental condition in which the upper jaw is too narrow to correctly fit the lower jaw. It forces the back top teeth to a bit inside of the lower teeth instead of outside.

Next is overcrowding, a condition in which there's not enough jaw room to accommodate all teeth. Widening the upper jaw also allows growing teeth to erupt into the proper position.
To check which situation applies to your case, we recommend visiting Dr. James Krippaehne and team at West End Dental

How Palatal Expanders Work


A palatal expander is a custom-made device that fits over several teeth in the back of the mouth to widen the upper jaw. It has two halves that connect in the middle using a screw. It also comes with a special key dentists use to turn gradually turn the screw each day. This induces tension between the palatal bones, causing them to move apart over time.

Once the jaw reaches optimal expansion, we will leave the device for a few months to allow new bone to form in the gap. This will stabilize the expansion within 3-6 months.

At West End Dental, Dr. James Krippaehne or team can guide you in detail regarding palatal expansion and make sure the procedure is not only effective but tolerable. To schedule an appointment with us, call us at (503) 446-2957 today.
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