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Rapid Palatal Expander

What is a Rapid Palatal Expander?

  • An RPE is an orthodontic appliance used to the widen the palate (roof of the mouth) which will create more space for the teeth to come in/be aligned. It can decrease the amount of orthodontic treatment time needed.

How Do I Use An RPE?

  • Place the key you have been given in the hole in the centre of the appliance. Once the key has been placed, turn the key by pushing toward thE back of the mouth. Push the key as far as it will go and release the key gently toward the back of the mouth.  The turn has been completed when a new hole has appeared in front. Only turn RPE once per day as directed by Dr. Tzotzis. Do not over turn the appliance if you have forgotten, but continue with turning once a day.  Overturning can result in pain and/or injury to the palate (roof of the mouth).

What to expect:

  • Once the RPE is placed in the mouth, you may initially experience altered speech or swallowing. This is normal and it will take some time for your tongue to get used to it.
  • Upon turning the appliance, the patient may feel some initial pressure on the roof of the mouth. This is to be expected. The pressure will subside shortly.
  • A space between the two front teeth may develop. This is normal. The space may start to close when you finish turning the appliance. Any spaces that form will be closed in time during your orthodontic treatment.

How long will I have my RPE in my mouth?

  • It can take merely weeks to achieve the necessary amount of expansion, but the appliance must remain in the mouth for several weeks longer in order for the expansion to stabilize. Dr Mike will monitor the appliance at regular visits, and determine when it can be removed.  Removing the appliance does not hurt!