How does it work?
Turning the miniature screw applies pressure through the teeth to expand the jaw bone. The screw is in the center of the palate.
How long will the expander be needed?
Upper expansion is generally completed within 3 months while lower expansion requires approximately 6 months. Expansion must be retained, often with the same expansion appliance, for a minimum of 6 months post expansion. Most expanders are left in place 9-12 months.
How does it feel?
You may experience excess saliva until your mouth adjusts to your appliance. You will feel pressure on the teeth or roof of the mouth after turning the screw. The pressure lasts 1-5 minutes. There should be no discomfort after the first week. Ibuprofen may be beneficial during this initial phase. During this phase of treatment, we will be monitoring your child’s progress very closely. Therefore, we recommend you do not skip appointments!
- Count every turn. Never turn more than the recommended turns.
- Always turn in the direction of the arrow until the next hole appears, then remove the turning lever.
- If the expander is loose, stop turning this screw. Call for an appointment so we can re-cement it back in.
- A space may open between the front teeth. This space will reduce on its’ own once the turns are stopped.
- If the screw resists turning, offers no resistance, or pulls apart, stop the turns and call our office for an adjustment.
- Be sure to brush around the appliance very thoroughly, check for plaque and use fluoride toothpaste daily.
- Speech will be slurred and swallowing difficult at first until the tongue adjusts to the appliance. Practice reading out loud.
“The information on this site is provided for educational or informative purposes only; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, recommendations or treatment”.
We are embracing the future of dental technology in order to keep your child's visit as seamless as possible.
From the moment they step inside our practice your child's comfort is our number one priority.
We expect the best. We are setting new standards of what it means for your child to visit the dentist.
With 4 locations to conveniently choose from in North Kansas City, Leawood, Country Club Plaza, and Lee's Summit to best serve your dental needs.
As a courtesy to our patients, we submit necessary claim forms, receipts, and other information to your insurance company.
Our welcoming and experienced staff will take care of any questions or concerns you may have during your visit to our practice.
Dr. Donna Thomas was born and raised in the Kansas City area. She attended St. Mary’s high school and Rockhurst College. She received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 1992 from University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Dentistry. Following graduation, Dr. Thomas completed a 2-year Pediatric Dental Residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha where she also obtained a Masters Degree. Read More...
Dr. Nicole Hawkinson was raised in central Iowa and attended Luther College where she received a degree in biology. She then attended the University of Iowa, College of Dentistry, where she completed her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Dr. Hawkinson went on to continue her education and received a certificate in Pediatric Dentistry at Strong Memorial Hospital and the University of Rochester, NY. She received extensive training in child psychology, dental trauma, sedation, hospital dentistry and development. Read More...
Dr. Claudia Lopez is originally from Bogotá, Colombia. She graduated first in her class at the El Bosque University of Dentistry. In 1992, she moved to the United States and obtained a certification in Pediatric Dentistry from New York University College of Dentistry. Dr. Lopez completed a DDS certificate and one year of dental research fellowship training at Children’s Mercy Hospital and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. Read More...
Dr. Frank Crist attended Park Hill High School where he graduated in 1982. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Kansas State University in 1986 and went on to attend the University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Dentistry where he received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 1990. Dr. Crist completed a General Practice Residency at the Miami Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida. Read More...
We are thankful to our amazing patients and parents who acknowledge our excellence and have posted 5-star reviews on Google.
"My daughter loves coming for her appts! Have always had great experiences! She loved Dr. Lopez!!"
"My grandson loves going to the dentist. Dr. Thomas is an awesome dentist, kind and gentle with him when he had to have a tooth fixed."
We combine the latest in cutting-edge technology along with time-tested techniques in order to ensure that your child will always get the safest and most effective treatment possible.