Does your child need a palatal expander device (also known as a PED)? Do you need one?
Following the advice of an oral health professional if they recommend palatal expansion is important. That said, if you or a loved one needs a palatal expander, you might have questions regarding how much treatment will cost.
There’s no universal answer to the question “How much does a palatal expander cost?” However, the following guide will help you better understand why palatal expansion may be necessary and how much you might expect to spend on this form of treatment.
The Purpose of a Palatal Expander
A qualified dentist or orthodontist may recommend a palatal expander to widen the palate (roof of mouth or upper section of the jaw). Most patients who need palatal expanders are children or teenagers. However, in rare instances, an adult might also benefit from using one.
Palatal expanders qualify as interceptive orthodontic devices. Interceptive orthodontic treatments serve to correct bite problems early, before relatively minor issues develop into potentially significant misalignments. For example, if a child uses a palatal expander for a period of time, later on, they may avoid the need for braces, or they might not have to wear braces for as long as they otherwise would have.
Benefits of Palatal Expanders
Palatal expanders can offer a range of benefits and advantages to patients who need them. Examples include (but aren’t necessarily limited to) the following:
- Preventing or reducing airway obstruction
- Reducing crowding, so that teeth may erupt in the correct positions
- Correcting a crossbite
- Allowing for greater facial symmetry
- Potentially guarding against tooth impaction
Again, by using a palatal expander to treat an orthodontic issue early, a patient could minimize their need for future orthodontic treatments. Thus, it’s possible that equipping your child with a palatal expander now could theoretically help you save money in the long run. Additionally, by addressing bite issues, a palatal expander could decrease a patient’s chances of developing the following:
- Dental decay
- Gum disease
- Pain or discomfort
Wearing a Palatal Expander: What You Need to Know
A palatal expander consists of two main pieces, both of which attach to a patient’s upper molars. One piece attaches to the upper left molars, while the other attaches to the molars on the upper right. Together, they exert pressure to expand the upper jaw area.
It’s unlikely a patient will experience any significant pain when wearing a palatal expander, although they may experience some discomfort as they grow accustomed to the device. Some patients only need to wear palatal expanders for about half a year to achieve the desired results. Others may need to wear the devices for a year to see maximum benefits.
What is the Cost of a Palatal Expander?
The cost of a palatal expander can vary from one patient to another. Factors that may influence a palatal expander’s cost include:
- The patient’s age
- How complex the device is (as not all palatal expanders are exactly the same)
- How long a patient needs to wear a palatal expander
- A patient’s dental insurance
Palatal expansion for children usually costs between $1,000 and $2,500. For adults, whose cases are often more complex, palatal expansion may cost between $3,500 and $6,000.
Those are average cost ranges. Some patients may pay less than average, while others might pay more. Just remember, palatal expansion could potentially reduce the need for future orthodontic and dental treatment, thereby minimizing long-term expenses.
Learn More About Palatal Expanders in the Greater Hartford Area
At Greater Hartford Orthodontics, in Newington, CT, we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about palatal expanders and your options for paying for this treatment. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at 860-667-8277 to request an appointment.