Arch Development

Arch development, sometimes referred to as expansion, is used in conjunction with orthodontic treatment in order to create the necessary space to accommodate straight teeth.

ApplianceA significant percentage of patients with crooked teeth have underdeveloped dental arches. This condition of underdeveloped dental arches is the result of many possible factors, including: genetics, thumb sucking, over use of a pacifier, too soft of a diet, baby bottle rather than nursing, mouth breather, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, allergies, etc.

Proper airflow through a youngster’s nostrils is essential for the proper growth and development of the dental arches. If airflow through the nose is reduced then dental arch development is retarded. Underdevelopment of the dental arches also causes underdevelopment/uneven development of the mid-face (eyes, ears, cheeks and nose).

Meridian ApplianceIf a patient is diagnosed with an underdeveloped dental arch then we will recommend arch development. The subject of arch development is a controversial one. Many dentists and orthodontists believe that arch development in a non-growing patient is impossible, or at the very least, unstable. The reason they believe that is because that is what they were taught in dental school. Dr. Brad was taught the same thing but following dental school his orthodontic mentors taught him a new paradigm. He has now been successfully developing dental arches in children, teens and adults for over 20 years. We’re not talking about “rapid palatal expansion” (RPE) but rather “arch development” that is slow and steady and 100% pain free and comfortable.

We use a number of different arch development appliances in our practice, including the DNA, Meridian, sagittal, and Schwarz. These are all removable appliances that are comfortable, convenient and much less expensive than the alternative of jaw surgery.

If you feel you may be in need of arch development, we invite you to give us a call (Riverton Office Phone Number 801-542-0267) for a free consultation or second opinion to determine if arch development is right for you.