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Expanders Specialist

Advanced Digital Orthodontics

Robert J. Lopatkin, DDS

Orthodontist located in Great Neck, NY

If you have a crossbite or a narrow upper jaw, expanders can prevent further complications and improve your oral health. At Advanced Digital Orthodontics serving patients in West Hempstead, Port Washington, Manhasset, Great Neck, Williston Park, New Hyde Park, Roslyn, New York, orthodontist Robert Lopatkin, DDS, regularly prescribes expanders to address a variety of common dental conditions. To see if expanders are right for you, make an appointment at the practice in Roslyn, New York, by calling the office or booking online.

Expanders Q & A

What are expanders?

Expanders are orthodontic devices that correct alignment issues like crowding or crooked and overlapping teeth. They’re usually recommended for children and teens but can benefit adults as well. 

When are expanders needed?

Dr. Lopatkin uses expanders to:

Widen the jaw

If you have a narrow jaw, you’re more likely to experience orthodontic problems like crowding or impacted teeth. Expanders widen your upper jaw, allowing plenty of room for proper alignment.

Correct crossbites

Crossbite is a type of malocclusion that causes your upper teeth to rest inside your lower teeth. If your upper and lower arch isn’t aligned, you’re more likely to experience tooth pain, sensitivity, and sleep apnea. Expanders can align both the upper and lower jaw, improving your oral health.

How do expanders work?

Expanders have two pieces that attach to the molars on either side of your jaw. The pieces connect with a thin screw that runs across the roof of your mouth. Dr. Lopatkin provides you with a key that you tighten the screw with according to a set schedule. Tightening the screw places pressure on your jaw, causing it to widen. 

Do expanders hurt?

Expanders are safe and well-tolerated. They don’t cause any pain and are easy to adjust at home. It’s normal to experience some mild pressure when making adjustments, but the pressure should subside within 5-10 minutes.

How long does orthodontic treatment with an expander take?

The length of time you wear an expander depends on your jaw’s current alignment and the issues treated. Adults typically wear expanders for a year and sometimes longer. To ensure the process goes as planned, attend each checkup and carefully follow Dr. Lopatkin’s instructions.

Can I brush and floss with an expander?

Yes. It’s important to practice good oral hygiene when you have an expander. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, plaque, tartar, and food particles can build up, making the expander difficult to adjust. Poor oral hygiene also increases your risk of gum disease and inflammation which can irritate your mouth. 

While wearing an expander, avoid foods that are hard, sticky, or chewy. Tiny particles can get wedged into the components affecting your treatment outcome. 

To see if you’re a candidate for expanders, make an appointment at Advanced Digital Orthodontics by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.