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Orthodontic Treatments: Palatal Expanders

Dr. Killian serves as a dentist in Carlisle, PA. Dr. Killian helps you attain straighter teeth through the use of FastbracesĀ®, retainers and palatal expanders. Straighter teeth improve your dental health, as well as your smile.

Improperly aligned teeth cause jaw pain, tooth pain and difficulties chewing or talking. A palatal expander is an appliance used by an dentist to expand upper teeth until they align with the lower teeth. Palatal expanders are most often used to treat children, but they can also realign adult teeth.

Orthodontic Treatment Use of Palatal Expander

A palatal expander is a metal framework that fits to the roof of the mouth. The device attaches to bands that are cemented to the upper first molars. You cannot remove the palatal expander yourself; once the device widens your teeth, Dr. Killian will remove it.

At the center of the palatal expander is a screw, or key. Turning the key increases pressure on your upper molars, slowly moving the teeth into the correct position. You don't have to visit a dentist to tighten the key; usually you adjust the key yourself using a special attachment.

Dr. Killian, will explain when and how to adjust the key and answer any questions you have about this appliance. Never turn the key more than the recommended amount.

When you turn the key on the palatal expander, you'll feel gentle pressure on your teeth. Consistent pressure moves the teeth over a period of three to six months. Once the teeth reach their correct alignment, you continue to wear the expander for up to a year. This prevents the teeth from returning to their original positions.

Cleaning the Expander

You'll want to carefully follow Dr. Killian's directions for cleaning the expander, as particles of food can become lodged between the expander and the roof of the mouth. A Water Pik makes cleaning difficult-to-reach areas much easier.

Wearing Palatal Expanders

You may find eating or speaking a little uncomfortable in the days after Dr. Killian installs the palatal expander, but these feelings diminish as you get used to wearing the appliance. You may also experience an initial increase in saliva at first or develop a slight lisp as the spaces between your teeth widen.

As you grow accustomed to the palatal expander, you may develop tongue sores from contact with the expander's metal parts. If you experience any sores, give our office a call and Dr. Killian may need to make some adjustments.

Many people develop a space between the two upper front teeth when they increase pressure on the expander. The gap usually closes over the next few days as the front teeth drift back together. A few people, however, develop overlapped front teeth that require braces after the expander is removed.

Orthodontic Treatment Services in Carlisle, PA

Dr. Killian offers a full suite of modern orthodontic treatment in Carlisle, PA. Dr. Killian provides you with complete dental services supported by his friendly and professional dental staff. If you need an orthodontic treatment, give Dr. Killian a call today.

Other Orthodontics Services:

  • Fastbraces®
  • Thumb Guards
  • Occlusal Guards
  • Retainers