An expander can be either a removable or fixed plate that incorporates an expander screw to correct a narrow upper jaw/ impacted and crowded teeth.
There are different variations of the expander depending if there are other bite conditions that need correcting too. The expander is usually fitted in a child or early teen, to widen the upper jaw before the jaw bones have hardened.
It works by gradually widening the upper jaw through turning. The expander needs to be in the mouth for approximately 6-12 months to ensure the jaw doesn’t slip back to its previous narrow form.