Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)

Orthodontic expansion is an opportunity to correct a narrow upper jaw and provide long term stability to orthodontic treatment. Not every patient is a candidate for expansion. For those that are, rapid palatal expanders develop more room in the dental arch, alleviate crowding, and correct constricted upper arches. Recent research has shown that orthodontic expansion can also help improve the airway in patients with sleep apnea.  The proper use of this appliance when recommended can even help some patients avoid extractions or jaw surgery! Gentle incremental pressure is applied when the appliance is turned. If an expander is used with your treatment plan, we will review when and how to turn the appliance. After active expansion is complete, the appliance will remain in for a period of time to stabilize the expansion.

Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) Instructions

  • Step 1

    In a well-lit area tip the patient’s head back.

  • Step 2

    Place the key in the hole until it is firmly in place.

  • Step 3

    Pushing the key towards the back of the mouth, you will notice the fender will rotate and the new hole will appear. The rotation stops when the key meets the back of the expander.

  • Step 4

    By pushing back and down towards the tongue, remove the key. The next hole for insertion of the key should now be visible.

Palatal Expander Instructions

Click here for instructions on how to adjust your RPE.