Rapid Maxillary Expander
What is a crossbite?
A crossbite refers to cases where the teeth fall either outside or inside the correct position when biting down. The most frequent examples of this happen when the back teeth at the top of the mouth go inside the lower ones, normally just on one side.
Can a crossbite be fixed?
It is possible to widen the arch of the upper tooth to improve bite function. A rapid maxillary expander may be recommended in such cases. This is a brace that is fastened to the patient’s upper teeth and has screws located in the centre of the palate. These screws will need to be turned twice a day for a fortnight to quickly and effectively expand the upper jaw. The appliance would need to be worn for at least three months.
Will wearing the Rapid Maxillary Expander hurt?
For the first couple of days after the brace is fitted there may be some discomfort, but paracetamol or other forms of pain relief can be used to control this.
Will the appliance result in any damage?
The rapid maxillary expander will not be in place for a long enough period of time for it to cause any mouth damage, as a removable retainer will replace it after twelve weeks.
There is, however, the risk of permanent decay marks forming around the fixings of the brace, if the area is not cleaned thoroughly or if too many sugary drinks are consumed. It is vital for teeth to be effectively cleaned twice a day to prevent this from happening when wearing a rapid maxillary expander.