Palatal Expansion & Phase 1 Treatment in Albany, CA
Make room for straighter, healthier teeth with a treatment that broadens the upper jaw.
What Does Palate Expansion Do?
Expansion helps broaden the jaw at a young age for the most stable treatment outcomes.
Palatal expansion is used to correct upper and lower jaw width problems and crossbites. It can also help to reduce crowding in abnormally narrow arches by broadening the upper jaw.
Since the expansion focuses on the jaw bone and allows new bone to grow, the best timing for expansion is at a younger age when a child is still growing.
Schedule a consultation with your Albany orthodontist to learn more, or refer a patient today.
It All Starts with Phase 1 Treatment
Using early start orthodontics to make a big impact on your child’s long-term growth and development.
Phase 1 treatment addresses orthodontic issues that young children, typically between the ages of six and ten may experience before they have their permanent teeth. The American Association of OrthodonticsOpen a link to learn more about The American Association of Orthodontics recommends children see an orthodontist by the age of seven.
At this age, many children may have some adult front teeth and their first molar. Their jaw bones will also begin to grow significantly through post-adolescence. A disharmony of tooth eruption and jaw growth may create more challenging orthodontic issues at a later age. Phase 1 treatment seeks to correct these problems as soon as possible.
We will evaluate the position of erupting teeth and the jaw growth pattern of your child and advise you if Phase 1 Treatment is needed. We offer Invisalign® and traditional braces to our young children patients.
How Palate Expansion Works
Lai Orthodontics explains what to expect.
A palate expander is easy to use, and your orthodontist will explain the steps for what to do at home. Patients may feel some pressure against teeth and behind the nose, but this is normal as the jaw slowly widens.
- Dr. LaiOpen a link to learn more about Dr. Lai places the expander on the upper teeth, and you’ll receive a small key to turn the expander.
- Turn the key as prescribed. Each turn widens the expander very slightly, putting gentle pressure on the upper molars.
- Over time, the expander gradually stretches the growing bone plate in the roof of the mouth.
*Extra note: Be sure to perform the turns as prescribed and brush the expander when brushing your teeth. Swish or use a small brush to remove food from above the expander.
- How do I know if my child needs palatal expansion?
Palate expanders are typically used in children whose teeth and jaw are still developing. Signs your child may need a palate expander include:
- Narrow upper jaw
- Impacted teeth
- Severe crowding
Your orthodontist can help you determine if the oral device is required. Please schedule a free in-office or virtual consultation at Lai Orthodontics to learn more.
- How long is the treatment when using palatal expansion? About 6 months. It needs approximately 2 month for active expansion and then goes to expansion retention stage for another 3-4 months.
- What are the benefits of Phase 1 treatment?
- Correct or reduce the severity of early tooth or bite problems
- Prevent worse scenarios later in life
- Procedures are often easy and simple
- Can result in more stable results
- Improve facial appearance and self-esteem
- Make future treatment less complicated
- Reduce chances of tooth extraction in the future
- After the Phase 1 treatment, will my child still need Phase 2/Comprehensive orthodontic treatment? Possibly. Phase 1 treatment focuses on problems that need correction right away to ease the complexity of future treatment. We follow up with our young patients periodically and re-evaluate if they need the Phase 2 treatment when they reach adolescence.
- How much does the Phase 1 treatment cost and how long does the treatment last? Treatment costs can range from $1,500 to around $4,000, depending on the complexity of issues and treatment goals. It may be a short treatment for about 6 months with a simple device to gain space or break habits. Or it may be a longer treatment of about 12-18 months to correct the bite.