Orthodontic appliances are used for the treatment of malocclusions, which may be a result of tooth irregularity, disproportionate jaw relationships, or both.
Dr. Randy Gittess is a specialist in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. With the use of functional appliances he can successfully treat facial abnormalities and ensure proper guidance of facial growth and development during childhood.
Sometimes orthopedic treatment can precede conventional braces, but usually they are accomplished together.
A palatal expander can be fitted on your teeth in order to expand your upper jaw. Dr. Gittess can explain the reasons why this device may be recommended.
In order for you to understand fully what you are doing for yourself and your health, the following are the most important points to remember:
By widening the upper jaw you can make more room for any crowded teeth. Also, this expansion should help to achieve a better bite.
A narrow or deep upper jaw may make it harder to breathe through your nose. When widening the upper jaw, the air passages also widen, thus allowing you to breathe more easily through your nose.
The difference between palatal expanders and other orthodontic devices such as braces is that braces move your teeth, while your expander gently separates and widens the two parts of the upper jaw. The air passages also widen, thus allowing you to breathe more easily through your nose.
Once the upper jaw has been expanded, new bone fills the space and helps maintain the increased width.
One of the most common problems orthodontics treat is the discrepancy that occurs when the upper teeth protrude beyond the lower.
Ordinarily when we see a patient with the upper teeth protruding, we tend to think that the upper jaw and teeth are too far forward; but, more often than not, this condition is due to a small lower jaw that is further back than it should be.
With these patients, we would like to encourage the lower jaw to catch up in growth, and braces like the Herbst appliance help this happen.