Palate Expansion

stock1.jpgExperience this Early Orthodontic Artistry

Palate expansion is, without a doubt, one of Dr. Lennard's favorite treatments to provide his orthodontic patients. When performed prior to approximately age 15, before the fusion of the mid-palatal suture, this can be the most effective solution to prevent years of orthodontic complications. This is what palate expansion accomplishes:

  • A skeletal widening of the upper jaw, which creates more room for the permanent teeth.
  • This helps eliminate the need for bicuspid tooth extraction later in life.
  • Coordinates the widths of the upper and lower jaw, which improves the patients bite function.
  • It creates a broader, more aesthetically-pleasing smile.

The Two-Phase Approach to Palate Expansion

The palate expansion process can be completed in two phases, which is most ideal to achieve the desired results. The first phase, which usually occurs when a child is 8 to 10 years old, sets up the palate for future orthodontic treatment. Once the child's primary teeth have been lost, phase two can be completed, usually between ages 12 and 15. All of the adult teeth, except the wisdom teeth, should be erupted prior to starting the second phase of treatment.

Palate Expansion for Adults

This treatment can be attempted in adult patients, but the results are usually not as ideal as they are in children and adolescents because the mid-palatal suture has already fused. To achieve the same results, an adult patient may need adjunctive orthognathic jaw surgery.