Dental appliance for the palate
Dear readers, welcome to our article on pediatric dentistry and palatal expansion. You’ll find useful information on orthodontics for children, but please note that our article is no substitute for a consultation with one of our dentists in Geneva! We’ll take the time to answer all your questions! If your questions about palatal expansion are not answered in this article, you can get further information in a consultation at the Rhône dental clinic in Geneva!
Palatal expansion is the treatment of choice for deficient skeletal development of the upper jaw during growth. This condition, commonly referred to as “narrow palate”, is often associated with total or partial inversion of the occlusion in the anterior or posterior sectors. Expansion of the maxilla creates a space favorable to the eruption of permanent teeth, and improves both occlusion and masticatory apparatus functionality. Moreover, correcting this condition also has beneficial effects on breathing, as “the roof of the mouth” (the palate) is at the same time “the floor of the nasal passages” and, consequently, orthodontic augmentation of one also improves the function of the other.
The palatal expander is an orthodontic appliance capable of separating the bony parts forming the maxilla at their point of union (palatal suture), followed by the formation of new bone. Its action is very rapid and effective from an early age, before the end of puberty, when the suture is not yet ossified. This is why expansion should be carried out as early as possible.
Have you just discovered that your child has a cleft palate?
Everything you need to know about the palatal expander is covered in this short, comprehensive article.
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Narrow palate is one of the most common problems in children. Suffering from it means not having enough space for the permanent teeth to come down properly. To solve this problem, it is common practice to use the palatal expander: an orthopedic appliance widely used in orthodontics. This is a fixed appliance, attached to the second deciduous or first permanent molars by means of a central screw, which must be activated daily for a period determined by the specialist.
It is used to solve a variety of problems, including
- Insufficient width of the jawbone ;
- Insufficient airway size;
- Insufficient upper jaw length.
When to start treatment with the rapid palatal expander?
The right time to start treatment plays a key role in rapid palatal expansion, as it determines the clinical response. It is therefore essential to plan this therapy at an early stage of growth. Although there are exceptions, palatal expander treatment is generally delayed from the age of 12. It is ideal for younger patients.
How does the treatment work?
Expansion of the palate requires slow, steady forces. The effectiveness of the appliance is demonstrated by the appearance of a small gap between the upper central incisors. This detail usually worries parents, but in reality it’s an integral part of the treatment and will close after a month.
Activation, the parent’s role
After positioning the rapid palate expander in the dental arches, the orthodontist always performs the first activations. Then it’s the parent’s turn, following the instructions of the Rhône Dental Kids specialist!
To activate, simply hook a wrench into the screw and follow the direction of the arrow with a 1/4 turn. The arrow always points towards the soft palate, so it will always point backwards. The rapid palatal expander is a simple, useful and effective device. To achieve the desired results, however, families need to understand and follow their dentist’s instructions.
Would you like to know if your child has a narrow palate and would you like a consultation? During the initial examination, we’ll be able to determine the best possible treatment for your child’s dental care needs in Geneva. In addition, we can define the treatment plan, the expected duration of treatment and the approximate cost.
Drop in for a visit, or call us on 022 310 50 77 to arrange a consultation with our dentists for your child!