You may have questions about dental appliances, and the different types of dental appliances used in orthodontic care. In the following educational video by experienced Buffalo orthodontist Dr. Dominic Colarusso Jr., he explains why Orthodontists Associates of WNY utilizes several different types of dental appliances for our treatments, and why.
When we talk about expansion of the upper jaw or the maxilla, we can increase the size of the roof of the mouth with rapid palatal expanders. The rapid palatal expander is essentially a skeletal expansion in which the midpalatal suture (the line running down the middle of the roof of the mouth) is separated with a bit of force in what is virtually a painless process. In younger children, the midpalatal suture will separate relatively easily; as we age, though, that midpalatal suture ossifies, becoming bone, which is far harder to separate.
Early intervention can also allow orthodontic treatment to develop the maxilla in a transverse dimension. To illustrate, I always tell my patients to imagine a house and the wall at the perimeter of the house. The teeth are similarly sitting on the perimeter of the maxilla. Rapid palatal expansion is analogous to cutting the foundation of the house down the middle, separating the perimeter wall, and filling in the gap with brick. The goal is not to push on the teeth, but rather to make a larger maxilla in a process called dental alveolar expansion.
There are different types of expansion that we can do to create room. As part of our diagnosis and treatment plan, we always try to determine whether expansion is going to be the appropriate option. Typically, expansion at younger ages is easier to manage with respect to dental alveolar development. I consider expansion in adults to be the equivalent of pushing the walls off the foundation of the home. It is far simpler to develop the upper and the lower as permanent teeth are erupting because the bone has not yet completely solidified.
Orthodontists Associates of Western New York is proud to offer braces for all ages throughout Buffalo, Lancaster, Olean, Hamburg, Orchard Park, and Dunkirk, East Aurora, and Niagara Falls New York. If you are considering orthodontic treatment for yourself or a loved one, please contact one of our 7 convenient orthodontic offices to arrange a free consultation.
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