Dubuque Braces

Palatal ExpanderDubuque, IA

As the permanent adult teeth begin to emerge in a child’s mouth, the child may not always have the proper room for all the teeth to grow in. With our treatment, we can help to prepare the mouth and ensure there is enough room for the teeth to emerge correctly and healthy. A palatal expander is a device that rests behind the patient’s teeth, attached to the roof of the mouth, to correct bite alignment, reduce overcrowding and even help with breathing difficulties.

Palatal expander treatment is available at Braces By Abbadent in Dubuque and the surrounding area. If left unchecked, various dental issues in children will only get worse. Fortunately, our team can help to prevent this with the direction of Dr. Aaron Rauen, DDS. As a cosmetic dentist, we can help to benefits both the appearance and health of a patient’s teeth.

Call us at (563) 484-5202 to learn more about palatal expanders or schedule an appointment.

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Benefits of a palatal expander

While there is a common stereotype that baby teeth are not too important for the adult teeth, the truth is the opposite. The growth and position of baby teeth will help to determine where the permanent adult teeth emerge. If the jaw and bite do not maintain the proper shape for this, it can lead to overcrowding and more. The benefits of using a palatal expander include:

  • Maintain the proper amount of space for the adult teeth to emerge
  • Make room for permanent teeth growing in
  • Correct crossbite, so the upper teeth do not bite behind the lower teeth
  • Help prevent a narrow jaw from limiting breathing through the nose
  • Gently stretching the bone and cartilage of the palate without excessive soreness
  • Professional support and guidance from our team throughout the process
  • With a palatal expander, our goal is to help the patient have the proper room for their permanent adult teeth while treating any of the issues listed above. In some cases, a patient, especially children under the age of 16, will wear a palatal expander before wearing braces or other teeth-straightening devices. To determine if a palatal expander is necessary, we will need to examine the patient’s teeth.

    Signs a palatal expander is necessary

    Part of the reason it is crucial to visit a professional cosmetic dentist such as Dr. Aaron Rauen, DDS is that there is more to oral health care than regular checkups at the dentist and oral hygiene at home. Our team can help to examine the structure of the jaw and bite, which both directly affect the teeth. We can help to ease the growth process for the patient’s teeth while also helping keep them in the proper alignment after.

    In most cases, we recommend a palatal expander for children and preteens since the bone structure of the palate is more flexible in development. Signs that a child patient may need a palatal expander include:

  • Losing a baby tooth or teeth prematurely
  • Other teeth shifting to fill the gap of a missing tooth before the adult one can grow in
  • Breathing issues due to a narrow upper jaw
  • Crooked or crowded teeth
  • Crossbite, when the upper teeth bite behind the lower teeth
  • The Palatal expander treatment process

    To determine if a patient needs a palatal expander, we will review the current position of their teeth, overall health, medical history, insurance, allergies and any other pertinent health factors we need to know. Once we examine the patient and determine a palatal expander is a necessary treatment, we will take a mold of the patient’s teeth. This will help us to customize the treatment to meet their needs.

    Once the device is ready, we will attach it to the upper roof of the patient’s mouth. The expander includes two separate parts on either side of the palate with a screw in the middle that holds it together. This screw will also allow us to adjust it over time.

    The overall procedure may take around an hour or longer, depending on the patient’s needs. To make adjustments, we will need to use a key to turn the screw. Parents/guardians can help children to do this. This will continue to expand the jaw as necessary. The overall amount of time the patient will need to wear the expander for will take a few months. This length of time helps to shift the teeth without causing pain to the patient gradually.

    Once complete, we will remove the expander in our office. During the initial appointment, we will go over any diet restrictions and proper care of the palatal expander with the patient and parent/guardian. Call us to schedule an appointment today.

    Contact Us

    Braces By Abbadent is located at
    3430 Dodge St Ste 19
    Dubuque, IA

    (563) 484-5202