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Pediatric Dentistry » Maxillary Skeletal Expanders

Expanding Horizons in Watauga with Maxillary Skeletal Expanders (MSE)

The work done by maxillary skeletal expanders (MSE) seems like magic. With these orthodontic devices, your older teen can actually expand their upper jaw and palate, leading to a host of benefits for chewing, talking, and breathing. With each gentle adjustment, the expander guides the jaw toward its optimal position. Discover how this spellbinding orthodontic technology at Aviator Pediatric Dentistry can sculpt your teen’s smile.


What Is MSE Orthodontics?

Maxillary skeletal expanders—including mini-implant assisted rapid palatal expansion (MARPE) appliances—are used to correct narrow upper jaws or high-angled palates. These conditions essentially mean that your teen has less room in their mouth. MSE orthodontics offers them a non-surgical option to avoid future oral health problems by broadening their upper arch of teeth. For particularly severe bite issues, we offer Class III skeletal expanders to avoid surgery.


This innovative method creates more room for crowded teeth, potentially reducing the need for tooth extractions to make space. Beyond these benefits, MSE orthodontics can also enhance your teen’s aesthetics by balancing their smile. It’s an attractive solution if you’re seeking effective treatment for your child’s narrow upper jaw without the complexities of traditional surgery.


How Does the MSE Work?

The MSE works by applying gradual pressure to the palatal bone—the bone that forms the roof of the mouth. This pressure widens the gap between the upper jaw bones. The expansion process kickstarts bone growth to fill in the gap, widening the palate. In other words, MSE harnesses the body’s natural ability to adapt, compelling it to create more bone in the roof of the mouth. 

This is important because a narrow upper jaw can have many adverse effects on your teenager’s health. The Cleveland Clinic reports that a teen and adult palatal expander can help with:

  • Crowded smiles by creating space for teeth
  • Askew bites by realigning the jaw
  • Chewing problems by evening out the bite
  • Sleep apnea by creating room for the tongue
  • Breathing by widening the nasal cavity

Plus, this form of intervention spares your child the stress of surgery. While surgery is, of course, designed to alleviate problems, it can still be overwhelming. With MSE orthodontics, your teen gets the advantages without the anxiety. 

What Is the Process of Getting a Maxillary Expander?

Getting an MSE or MARPE from Aviator Pediatric Dentistry in Watauga, TX, is an exciting journey. Our team carefully plans and executes your child’s treatment for the best results.

  • Examination: Dr. Montoya provides your teen with personalized attention to go over their dental health, medical records, and goals. Together, we determine if a palatal expander is the best choice.
  • Planning: We discuss the steps and pacing of your child’s specific treatment. We also make sure to review your finance and insurance options so that you feel confident about paying for care. 
  • Scanning: We use advanced tech tools like cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) to create a 3D image of your child’s mouth. This helps us chart their treatment and create the oral appliance for them. 
  • Attachment: Once the MSE or MARPE is created, we attach it to the roof of your teen’s mouth, often with temporary anchorage devices (TAD). 
  • Instructions: We’ll give you treatment instructions so that your teen can use the device regularly at home. This will involve adjusting the expander to apply pressure and slowly grow their upper jaw, helping create their new smile. 
  • Monitoring: We don’t leave you and your child to handle everything on your own! We continue to follow up and assess your teen’s progress with regular appointments. 
  • Aftercare: Once the upper jaw and palate have expanded to where they need to be, we remove the appliance, and your teenager can return to normal life. 

Their path to a straighter smile doesn’t have to stop there. We can follow up with additional orthodontic care, like traditional braces or clear aligners, to build on the progress made by the skeletal expander. This is the perfect time, as the expansion often causes more spacing between teeth, especially the front teeth. For many, MSE is the first step in a rewarding journey toward orthodontic harmony and health. 


Help Your Teen Realize Their Best Smile in Watauga

A bigger smile—literally—is possible with maxillary skeletal expanders and similar oral appliances. If your teen has a narrow upper jaw or angled palate, contact Aviator Pediatric Dentistry today for a consultation. We offer the most updated and comprehensive orthodontic care in the Fort Worth area. With our help, your teen will breathe easier, chew easier, and smile easier.

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