Known by multiple designations, the palatal expander is also known as the rapid palatal expander, palatal expansion appliance or the MEA (Maxillary Expansion Appliance). The appliance is helpful in the expansion or widening of a narrowed maxilla so that both the upper and lower teeth fit together. It works in combination with the expansion of the jaw and movement of the teeth. The palatal expander is placed to correct posterior cross bite, crowded teeth, impacted teeth, cleft lip and palate and respiratory disorders.
Some popular treatments undertaken with the palatal expander are:
Cross bite - The upper jaw is too narrow and does not fit with the lower jaw and the back teeth bite inside the lower teeth instead of over it.
Crowded teeth – There isn’t enough room for the adult teeth to erupt and the jaw does not have space to accommodate them.
Impacted tooth – Unerupted tooth is blocked by other teeth. When the upper jaw is widened, it allows the tooth to form in the appropriate position.
One of the biggest advantages of the jaw expander is its ability to provide the wearer a broad and aesthetically pleasing smile besides improving chewing and speech.
Dental Solutions, Bangalore
Experts at Dental Solutions determine if palatal expansion may be necessary before the commencement of the procedure. The two halves of the upper jaw are widened and sutured in the middle. An expander is custom-made and placed for each of the halves. The expander can be either fixed or removable. As it is attached to the upper jaw the suture is eased apart thus widening the jaw. New bone gets filled in between the two halves over a period of time. This process of formation is called distraction osteogenesis. The process can take a few months or even a few weeks depending on patient disposition and the amount of expansion that may be required.