Palatal Expanders in Jacksonville Beach
and Ponte Vedra Beach
What is a Palatal Expander Device (PED)?
A palatal expander device is an oral appliance that is designed to widen the upper jaw. This treatment can create more room in the upper jaw for crowded teeth and also help the upper jaw meet together properly with the lower jaw. It is placed on the teeth of the upper jaw and crosses the roof of the mouth (palate). Some PEDs are removable but most are attached semi-permanently to the teeth. Some types include a key that is used to turn the expander mechanism daily so that the force on the jaw is gradually increased. Other types are adjusted periodically by your orthodontist.
Benefits of a Palatal Expander Device
Palatal expander devices offer many benefits:
Improve bite alignment. Widening the upper jaw can help it fit together with the lower jaw in better alignment to improve chewing capabilities.
Alleviate crowding. When there isn’t enough room in the upper jaw for all the teeth, they become crowded together, which can cause them to turn and overlap. A PED widens the jaw to make more room for the teeth to come in properly and remain in better alignment.
Help the jaw grow more effectively. A palatal expander device is a form of growth modification, which means it changes the shape of the jaw as it is growing for better orthodontic health.
Prepare for later treatment. Palatal expansion is usually part of the first phase of orthodontics, around the age of 7 to 9. It works best in the younger years while children are still growing, preparing the way for future orthodontic treatment. It may even reduce the length of future treatment.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Palatal Expander Device?
The best candidates for palatal expander devices are children under 10 years of age. PEDs are still effective later on, but the ideal treatment time is between 7 and 10. If your child’s teeth are crowded or crooked, they may benefit from a palatal expander. Every child should have an orthodontic evaluation around the age of 7, so schedule a complimentary evaluation if your child is 7 or older.
Why Choose The Brace Place?
At The Brace Place we provide two phase orthodontics, when needed, because we believe that the right treatment at the right time can improve dental health now and in the future. The first phase of orthodontics may begin around 7 after the first evaluation. Some children may not need any treatment at this age but will need braces later. We monitor your child’s orthodontic health throughout their childhood and adolescence to ensure we start treatment at the optimal time.
Dr. Goldknopf is a board certified orthodontist with the necessary qualifications and experience to provide treatment solutions for every patient. You can trust that your child’s dental health is in capable hands.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a palatal expander device necessary
A PED is not necessary for every patient, but many will benefit from this treatment. Cross-bites and crowded teeth are two of the most common orthodontic problems for children and may require the use of a PED to correct. We only recommend palatal expander devices for children who need them.
How long will a palatal expander device need to be worn?
The average treatment time for a PED is approximately 4-6 months. The palate must be widened gradually and healing time for the bone is also required.
Does my child need to wear a retainer after the PED is removed?
As with all orthodontic treatment, a retainer may be required.
Is a palatal expander device covered by insurance?
If your dental insurance includes coverage for orthodontics, a PED should be a qualified treatment. Contact your insurance provider or refer to your benefits guide for more information about the specific coverage of your plan.
Are PEDs painful?
Typically no, but there may be some discomfort when the palatal expander device is first put in place. This will subside in a few days. Over the counter pain medication should be effective at managing any discomfort associated with treatment.