Ideally, our upper and lower jaws would be both even in width and just wide enough to accommodate all 32 of our teeth. For most of us, though, either or both of our jawbones happen to be too narrow, and this can pose a problem during childhood and adolescence as our adult teeth grow in. Expanding the jawbone through precise and long-term orthodontic treatments and devices is the most efficient way to create this additional space. To learn more about upper jaw expansion for orthodontic correction, check out orthodontist Dr. Andrew J. Dusel’s video below.
Learn About Upper Jaw Expansion for Orthodontic Correction
In diagnosing a new case, we measure X-rays. These X-rays include a view from the front. This in turn enables us to measure the relative widths of the two jaws as they relate to each other and to the head. We measure the width of the patient’s jaws relative to her or his head size. If the jaws are skeletally narrow, we know we need to widen the upper jaw skeletally. We recognize this when we see that the patient has a posterior cross bite. If a patient’s upper jaw is biting on the inside of the lower, he or she likely needs a skeletal expander. We always measure on the X-ray to clearly determine how narrow that patient’s jawbone is and how much expansion is needed. If the bone is not skeletally narrow, but it appears that the teeth are dense—that is, if they look as though they tip in toward the roof of the mouth or toward the tongue—we use a dental expander to push the teeth into a better position. If teeth are crowded, we first try to create space by using an expander, and straighten those teeth with braces later.
Do you have questions about upper jaw expansion for orthodontic correction, and how it can benefit you or your loved one? Contact our office to schedule a free screening for your child. We have four convenient offices throughout Western New York and welcome the opportunity to serve you and your family.