Can Orthodontic Expanders be used on the Lower Teeth to Avoid Extractions?
Not everyone has enough room in his or her mouth to accommodate all 32 teeth perfectly. In order for teeth to grow in a healthy manner, sufficient space often needs to be created for those people who do suffer from the problem of overcrowding. There are two ways that an orthodontist can use to make space available in your mouth. The first is through tooth extraction and the second through jaw expansion.
Tooth extraction can take place on just about anyone, but the expander device can be used if the mid-palatal suture is not fully mature and can be stretched. This is normally possible for children who have not yet reached 15 years of age. The two parts of the suture may be separated slowly through the minimal activation of expansion screws, which make up part of the expander. When a space appears in between the teeth, at the front, this is an assurance that the expander is doing its job.
Lower Arch Expansion
Expansion on the lower arch presents more problems as there is no suture which is near to the teeth which can be expanded. An expander does not have to be used for the lower arch, but “uprighting” is an alternative method that can be utilized for expanding your lower jaws. This technique takes place through the tipping off of the teeth in the direction of the cheeks. The gaps that are formed in the lower arch occur due to the moving of the teeth and not bone movement. The process of tipping off the teeth is not a problem but there must be enough gums and bones positioned around the roots for this procedure to be used.