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Arch expansion--Something You Should Know

There are many different types of orthodontic treatment to improve crowded teeth. In addition to the extraction and IPR, there is another situation that we may encounter in the orthodontic process, and that is "arch expansion".

What is expansion?

First let's talk about what is dental arch.

On the gum, the teeth are arranged in an arch shape along the alveolar bone in sequence, called the dental arch. Arch expansion is the enlargement of the arch so that all the teeth on it can be comfortably seated. Similar to extraction and IPR, expansion is used to obtain the space needed for orthodontic treatment, generally by expanding the width and length of the upper and lower arches.

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In orthodontic treatment, arch expansion is mainly to enlarge the arch by moving the posterior teeth on both sides to the buccal side, and a space of 1-2mm can be created on each side. The enough space is available to move the teeth to the correct position to align the teeth well.

Does arch expansion make the face wider?

Despite the widening of the arch, the extension actually is very limited, so it does not change the width of the basal bone in general.

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The shape of the dental arch can be broadly classified into 3 basic types: square, ovoid and tapered. However, it is usually a mixture of these three basic types.
The adult face is mainly composed of the palate, jawbone and the facial muscles, and the expansion of the arch only changes the width and length of the teeth, and does not expand the width of all the bones in the jaw, in summary, the dental expansion will not affect the face shape.

Indications for arch expansion

1.Bilateral or unilateral narrowing of the maxillary and mandibular dental arches.
2.2. Shortening of the anterior segment of the mandibular arch caused by retroclined maxillary and mandibular anterior teeth, crowding or congenitally missing incisors.
3.3. Shortening of the arch length due to the mesialized molars.

Narrow dental arch is a common problem in orthodontic practice, caused by a variety of factors such as genetic, environment, and trauma, which may lead to malocclusion such as crowding, misalignment, and occlusal disorders, so that the arch expansion treatment is required.

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Post time: Jun-22-2022
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