Expansion usually takes 6-12 months regardless of what type of expansion technique we use, when you consider both the active expansion and the stabilization phase.
Both conventional expanders and Invisalign yield comparable results for our patients.
Conventional expanders are “glued” into place. We provide dental “pipe cleaners” to help remove any food that can get stuck during eating. The lower conventional expander can be removed at home at night for brushing. With conventional expanders, patients cannot eat anything too hard or too sticky.
The rate of tooth movement is more tightly controlled with clear aligners, allowing for more predictable comfort. Of the 2 kinds of conventional expanders, the tooth movement of the “quadhelix” expander is customizeable whereas the “rapid palatal expander” with the jackscrew is not.
By patient report, the clear aligners are more comfortable and do not interfere with speech or food choices. We typically do not offer clear aligners to patients with airway problems, so we still use both types of expansion in our practice. If for some reason clear aligners are not a good fit for a patient, we can transition them to conventional expanders.
Early expansion can eliminate the need for both the removal of baby and permanent teeth