Why are Dental Expanders Used in Orthodontics?

Do you have questions about expanders and why they are used in orthodontic care? In this educational video, dedicated Buffalo orthodontist Dr. Steven J Hietanen explains why skeletal and dental expanders are used when undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you are considering orthondontic care for yourself or a loved one, please contact our office to arrange your free Orthodontists Associates of WNY consultation. 

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  • When a patient has a narrow upper jaw, we first determine if the narrowness is in their jaw or teeth. If the patient has a narrow jaw, we use an expander on the maxillary jaw. Incidentally, the maxillary jaw is comprised of two halves.
  • Studies conducted at University of Pennsylvania show that patients with a width discrepancy larger than 7 mm between either jaw have a 75% probability of having middle-aged periodontal disease. So it is important to treat any skeletal discrepancy or narrowness in the jaws.
  • In other cases, the patient’s teeth are narrow. Therefore, we use different types of expanders to move the teeth into a wider position. When we use expansion, we work a little more slowly, and the procedure takes more time.
  • Some patients may have both narrow jaws and narrow teeth. Such patients will actually be treated with both types of expanders. Instead of trying to accomplish good results using one expander.
  • We select the appropriate expander for each patient by first taking a radiograph of the front of the patient’s head and physically measuring the width of the jaws in comparison to the width of the head. Next, we measure the width of the teeth in comparison to the width of the jaws and compare the results with standard values that tell us which expanders are appropriate.

Orthodontists Associates of Western New York is proud to offer braces for all ages throughout Buffalo, LancasterOleanHamburgOrchard Park, and DunkirkEast 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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At Orthodontists Associates of Western New York, our reputation as a leader in orthodontic care is based on one thing… Making a Healthy and Beautiful Smile