Is it possible to use Orthodontic Expanders on the Lower Teeth and Avoid Extractions?
Most patients dislike having their teeth removed as part of the orthodontic treatment. However, it is a scientific fact that some mouths are too small to have enough room for 32 teeth. In fact, a study shows that when we count wisdom teeth, it is only less than 15% of Americans who manage to keep their 32 teeth. When an orthodontist offers an option of expanding the upper arch, as an alternative to extractions, most parents feel relieved. Is it possible to use expanders for lower arch too?
According to the anatomy of the lower arch, it allows the usage of palatal expanders as the mid palatal suture. Among the children who are below the age of 15 years, suture growth is usually immature and flexible to stretch. If the child still has his or her soft cartilage, then is it very possible to separate the two halves slowly by a series of small activations. Among patients who are still growing, there is a gap that develops a between the upper first two teeth, which is a clear sign that the suture has been opened.
The greatest problem of using an expander in the lower arch of the teeth is the fact the teeth lack suture close to them, and it is impossible to expand. The lower jaw has two growth plates. They are usually located in the lower joints and not down by the teeth. If any expansion is done on the lower side, this is strictly tooth movement. If there is sufficient bone and gum around the roots, this does not have a problem. There are terms that orthodontists use when they want to describe the expansion of teeth in the lower arch. “Up righting” is the term used if the teeth are inwardly tipped. On the other hand, “Flaring” is the term that they use if the teeth are already upright and they needed to get pushed over the edge of the bone.
There are so many methods that are used to flare or upright in the lower jaw, in order to rectify the crowding disorder. Sagittal appliances are used by some orthodontists and others use lip bumpers. Some doctors make use of a wire that has a spring on it, and place it behind the teeth. There are also instances where banded expanders that have jackscrews are used, just like those commonly used in the upper arch.
The best tip that helps to align teeth is the understanding that results will always be the same regardless of the method used. The wires and springs that are threaded to bring the teeth appear closer to each other are additional expenses in the treatment of the lower arch. The main point that should be understood is that if you wish to resolve crowding in the lower arch, extractions or tipping of the teeth are the only available options. The nature of the bone and gums of the lower arch are key factors that affect the decision to expand or extract.
Please feel free to consult King Orthodontics so that you know if you have enough bone to facilitate flaring, if you do not want to remove your teeth. Contact us today!
King Orthodontics, 400 East Dayton, Yellow Springs Rd. Fairborn, OH 45324
Phone: (937) 878-1561 Fax: (937) 433-9530
Avoid Teeth Extraction through Orthodontic Expanders
Samuel B. King, D.D.S., M.S. – King Orthodontics – Specialist in Orthodontics for kids, teens and adults in Centerville and Fairborn.