As an orthodontic specialist, Dr. Iris Erdell, DDS, MS wants to move your teeth into a better position to improve your bite and the health of your teeth, as well as to give you a beautiful smile. Before placing braces on your teeth, Dr. Erdell may recommend orthodontic treatments to prevent tooth extraction, such as the use of expanders to widen your jaw or distalizers to correct bite issues. If you live in or near Walnut Creek, California, and would like a consultation with the smile expert, call or book an appointment online.
An expander is an orthodontic appliance that gently stretches the bone and cartilage in your palate to make more room for your teeth. An expander can be used on your top or bottom jaw, but it’s more often used for the top jaw. Expanders can be removable or fixed.
You may need an expander if you have:
Dr. Erdell may recommend expanders to widen your jaw, improve the fit between your upper and lower teeth, or move your teeth to make space so that your braces have an easier time moving your teeth into a better position.
Although adults can use expanders, they work best when placed before the jaw bones become too solid.
A distalizer is an orthodontic appliance that moves the upper and lower teeth to give you a correct bite. Dr. Erdell recommends placement of the distalizer before braces so the important bite correction can be done first.
The distalizer has the same effect as a traditional orthodontic headgear, but it is less invasive and bulky. It consists of two curved metal bars that attach to two upper teeth and a lower holding arch or clear retainer. Elastic bands are used to create the necessary force to move your teeth.
You may need a distalizer if you have:
However, although a distalizer has many uses, it’s primarily recommended to move the back teeth to fix an overbite by moving your teeth to make room for the realignment of your bite without having to extract your teeth.
Using a distalizer before braces may also help shorten the amount of time you have to wear braces.
Both children and adults benefit from the use of distalizers.
If you’re unhappy with your smile, Dr. Erdell can help. Whether you have an overbite, overcrowding, or misalignment, Dr. Erdell offers many options to help fix your smile.