Should she get a palletal expander or not?

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Should she get a palletal expander or not?

#1 Post by chilichillin »

My daughter is almost 13. She has a 7 mm overjet/overbite (not sure which). I've taken her to 3 different orthodontists over the past 2 years. Two of them at the same office (visits about 18 months apart) with different doctors. All 3 orthos. said they wanted to expand the upper jaw and pull the bottom jaw forward. The two at the same office suggested an expander on the upper jaw, a herbst, a lip bumper on the bottom (she still has 2 baby teeth on the bottom), and braces top and bottom (after the baby teeth fall out). Treatment time about 24 months. The third ortho., at a different office, suggested no expander, braces top and bottom, and these hinge-like things called Forsus that attach to the braces. She'd have to wear the Forsus for about 6 months. Total treatment time also about 24 months. I asked him if he wants to widen her upper jaw, wouldn't she need an expander?, He said no, the braces themselves will widen her jaw.

My questions are: Is the palletal expander really necessary to widen the upper jaw, or will the braces widen the jaw alone and the expander is just overkill? I'd hate for her to have to deal with the expander if it's not really necessary. Also, what is the difference between the Herbst and Forsus?

If anyone can help me figure this out, it would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Re: Should she get a palletal expander or not?

#2 Post by ArchWired28 »

An option without an expander is definitely simpler and less invasive. However, 7mm overjet seems like a lot to me (I am not a specialist). As far as I know, both Forsus and Herbst are used to treat overbite/overjet by pushing the lower jaw forward, I am not sure what is the difference.
Expander may be a stressful experience for a child. If I were you, I would have wanted to avoid it if possible. Seek more opinions, maybe? The thing is, braces nowadays can give a great deal of expansion...
Another thing is, you don't want her upper jaw overexpanded either, because she might end up needing the lower expander, too. Just a thought. I definitely like the 2nd option better, especially for a child.
Had full mouth metal braces for 21 months. Debonded April 2013. Now wearing clear plastic retainers every other night.

I have no formal dental or orthodontic education. Hence, all opinions expressed by me on this forum are those of an "informed consumer" and by no means intended as an expert advice.

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Re: Should she get a palletal expander or not?

#3 Post by BracketRacket »

forsus is really not less invasive than an expander

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Re: Should she get a palletal expander or not?

#4 Post by klobird »

I don't know much about the expander as I have not had to have one--I guess they are more for the kids because their bones are still moving and growing and they can be expanded. When my sister was 23 she had the expander, though.

As for the Forsus vs the Herbst. There are tons of youtube videos you can watch about both of them, and the expander.
I have to have the Forsus in a few months--my overjet is 6mm. I would rather have the Forsus than the Herbst--mainly because it's a newer product (with the spring) and seems more streamlined.

With that said, there are tons of videos with the kids showing what their Herbst looks like--your child would probably learn by watching the videos that the kids who have them are just fine with the Herbst. It seems that the older they are the more they have the Forsus.

Anyway, I was in for my adjustment about 5 days ago. There was a girl--she had to be 7 or 8--getting her Herbst. When she was done, she was just skipping over to the sink like nothing happened.

I don't think it's that bad--tons of kids have had a lot of different appliances, and they seem to cope just fine.

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Re: Should she get a palletal expander or not?

#5 Post by chilichillin »

Thank you all for your info. She has an appt. with another ortho. at a different office on Thursday.

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