A rapid palatal expander (RPE).

Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) | Absolute Dental

If you struggle with dental health issues, including an uneven bite, a narrow jaw, or teeth overcrowding, a rapid palatal expander may be the right dental device to help remedy those issues.

Rapid palatal expanders are non-invasive dental appliances that help move your palatal plates to correct jaw-related health issues. These appliances are easy to install, highly effective, and generally require short-term treatment plans. 

Curious to see if a rapid palate expander might be a good solution to your oral health concerns? Turn to the team at Absolute Dental to find out. Our dental hygienists and orthodontists will work to determine the best treatment plan for oral health issues you may be facing regarding your jaw. 

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How Does A Rapid Palatal Expander Work? 

A rapid palatal expander is a special type of dental device used to correct crossbites, teeth crowding, and issues related to jaw width. The device expands the two palatal bones, helping widen your jaw. 

This device is made up of two metal halves that are connected in the center with a small screw. The RPE is fitted into your mouth’s upper arch and attached to the back upper teeth for support. 

Once an RPE is fitted into your mouth, your dentist will provide you with a special palate expander key that will fit into the tiny screw in the middle of the RPE. The key is generally used daily to turn the expander and widen it a bit every day. As the RPE turns, you will feel the tension that, over time, will push your two palatal bones apart, helping to widen your jaw. 

Is A Rapid Palatal Expander Painful? 

The use of a rapid palatal expander does not hurt. When you activate the expander by turning it, you should not experience any pain either. You may feel tension or pressure, but not pain. During the installation of the dental device, you may feel intimidated or uncomfortable, but the overall procedure is not painful either. 

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Can Adults Benefit From A Rapid Palatal Expander? 

A rapid palatal expander can also be used on adults. Because adult bones have already developed into their mature form, treatment may take much longer than it would with a child, but treatment can still be effective. Along with jaw issues, adults can benefit from an RPE if they experience other oral health issues, including breathing issues and an uneven bite. 

How To Eat With A Rapid Palatal Expander

A rapid palatal expander can look intimidating and you may be wondering how you are supposed to eat with it once it’s installed. As with other dental devices like children’s dental braces or fixed retainers, you need to pay extra attention to your eating habits. 

You can continue eating healthy fruits, vegetables, meat, milk, and whole grains. However, you should avoid eating sticky or chewy food like taffy, licorice, and caramel. 

Be sure to avoid hard food like ice, popcorn, or nuts, as they can cause issues with how your RPE is installed. Finally, other foods like carrots, apples, hard fruits, and veggies should be cut into small-sized bites for easier chewing. 

When Should A Rapid Palatal Expander Be Used? 

This special dental device is most effective when used with children. This is because children are still developing and growing, allowing the device to permanently adjust to any oral health issues they may experience.

Once the rapid palatal expander is installed, it takes anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks for the palate bones to expand. However, the device will remain installed for about six months, allowing the Palate Bones To Mature Fully. 

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We Accept Most Dental Insurance

Absolute Dental is a preferred provider for most insurances, unions, and hotels that include: Aetna, Ameritas, Boon-Chapman, Caesars Palace, Cigna, Delta Dental, Diversified, Geha, Guardian, Harrah’s, HealthSCOPE Benefits, Health Plan of Nevada (HPN), Humana, Liberty, Met-Life, MGM-MIRAGE, Premier Access, The Standard, Station Casinos, Teachers Health Trust, United Concordia, United Healthcare, Venetian, and The Zenith. We also accept Medicaid.

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(844) 8-SMILE-NOW

Types Of Pediatric Orthodontic Appliances

When your child starts seeing a pediatric general dentist at Absolute Dental, they may recommend different types of pediatric orthopedic appliances to correct potential dental problems while they are still growing and developing. Making these dental corrections at an early age is much easier than waiting until they are older since bones are not entirely hardened and are easier to manipulate into the desired position.

Rapid Palatal Expander (Rpe)

One pediatric orthodontic appliance is called a rapid palatal expander (RPE). This device is used to correct teeth crowding problems, crossbite, and expand jaw width. RPEs can be removable, or some designs are bonded to the molars and remain in place until the treatment is completed. A key is turned to expand the device, and pressure is put on the upper jaw to expand it. Your orthodontist will let you know how many key turns are needed at the start of treatment.

Twin Block

Another pediatric appliance used to correct overbites is a twin block. It consists of an upper and lower device that looks similar to a retainer. Each part is placed inside the mouth, and they interlock when your child closes their mouth, causing the lower jaw to move forward. Children typically wear the twin block all the time since they can play, drink, eat, sleep, and talk with the appliance in. However, it is removable so that it can be cleaned.

Herbst

A Herbst is another pediatric dental appliance used to correct overbites. It consists of upper and lower pieces cemented to the upper and lower molars. Then, those pieces are connected together using metal arms. When your child bites down, it helps push the lower jaw forward to correct the overbite. It is important to remember these are just a few examples of pediatric orthodontics appliances that can be used to correct jaw, teeth, and dental problems to give your child a gorgeous smile. 

 

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(844) 876‑4536

 

Is An Rpe Dental Appliance Right For Me?

A dentist with his arms crossed, smiling for the camera.

At Absolute Dental, our team of highly specialized dentists and orthodontists can help determine whether or not you may be a good candidate for a rapid palatal appliance. 

When you schedule with us, our experienced orthodontists will walk you through available treatment plans so you or your child can have the best smile possible. 

As a leading office for cosmetic dentistry in Las Vegas, our team is here for you. We accept most major insurance policies and offer flexible financing options for patients who might not have dental coverage. Be sure to ask about our offers and discounts, including our Smile Saver program. Get in touch today to learn more about how affordable and pain-free your smile can be. 

Work with the best dentist for kids when you give us a call today to schedule your next exam with our team. (844) 8‑SMILE‑NOW
(844) 876‑4536

Sources:

Dental: Wearing a Palatal Expander.

Handelman, C S., et al. (2019). Nonsurgical maxillary expansion in adults: report on clinical cases using the Hyrax expander

Higuera, V. (2019). Pros and Cons of Permanent Retainers.

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Las Vegas, Nevada 89121
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89106
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89129
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89108
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89110
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89148
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89117
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89117
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Las Vegas, Nevada 89118
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