Rapid Maxillary Expansion and Surgical Assisted Rapid Palatal Expansion (SARPE)
A Rapid Maxillary Expander (RME) is designed to widen the upper dental arches. Typically we don’t use RME for the lower arch.
A RME is a custom made device fits on the inside of the upper teeth to widen the roof of the mouth to correct posterior crossbites (narrow upper arch) to create a correct width in relation to the lower teeth as well as make room for crowded teeth to grow in naturally. RME can be used to expand the upper jaw to fit more closely with the lower jaw and used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances.
The appliance consists of a metal frame, which is fixed in place to several back teeth in the upper jaw. It is used to expand the upper jaw by pushing the two halves of the arch apart, resulting in widening of the jawbone itself. This appliance will only work if the upper jaw suture (join in the bone) is not fused. Generally, the suture starts to fuse at around the age of 15 years old. If the suture is fused, a surgical procedure can be performed in combination with the RME to reopen the suture if required.
Mary works closely with a team of highly skilled craniomaxillofacial surgeons at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. She and her team will discuss all possible treatment options thoroughly and in detail from the onset to ensure that you will get the highest quality of care and support by experienced staff that will take excellent care of you every step of the way.
During the expansion process, you will see a large space between the upper two front teeth. This is a good sign that the two halves of the upper jaw are separating. The space between the two front teeth will naturally close 6 weeks after active expansion. The active expansion phase generally lasts 2 to 4 weeks. Once we have achieved the desired width, the RME is generally left in place for an additional 3 to 4 months to stabilise the result. Braces are often required after this procedure.