Phone_icon(320) 762-2101 ALEXANDRIA
(218) 631-4529 WADENA
Map_IconAlexandria Office
510 22nd Ave E
Suite 401
Alexandria, MN 56308

Map_IconWadena Office
124 SW Colfax
Wadena, MN 56482

Maxillary Expansion

Maxillary or palatal expansion is done when the upper jaw is too narrow relative to the lower jaw. Maxillary expansion is used to correct crossbites and also will create more space for crowded teeth. The expander appliance is attached to the molar teeth and is usually worn for 4-6 months.

The expansion appliance is custom made for each patient and attached to the teeth with a dental adhesive. The appliance is widened by placing a key into the appliance and turned once per day. Dr. Anderson monitors the expansion every 2-3 weeks to make sure the expansion is progressing properly. After the expansion is complete the expander is typically left in place for 12 weeks for the palatal bones to heal and stabilize.

The palatal expander works by placing a force across the mid-palatal suture. This suture is a junction between two bones on the roof of your mouth and runs from between the upper two front teeth backwards towards the back of the throat. As the appliance is adjusted or opened up the force from the appliance opens up this suture and widens the roof of the mouth. This widened upper jaw now can fit the lower jaw better and has more room to accommodate crowded teeth. Maxillary expansion works best on patients who are still actively growing. During expansion it is normal to get a space (sometimes large) between the upper front two teeth and for the patient to feel some slight pressure when the appliance is tightened.