Palatal Ex pander (RPE)

When there is deficient upper jaw growth resulting in a narrow palatal width, a palatal expander is shown to be the most effective way to gently and predictably widen the upper jaw.  The best time for this treatment is before the growth plates have fused which is by the age of 10.  This results in the best opportunity for a stable result.

This is not a painful procedure.  A minor feeling of pressure may last only a few seconds.

Each turn widens no more than the width of a piece of paper. 

How does it work?

RPE (1)







  • A key is inserted into a middle hole in the RPE
  • A turn is done from the front of the mouth to the back, ususally once per day

Removable Palatal Expander (RPE)

Swartz Appliance     

What are the Benefits of the Palatal Expander (RPE) ? 

  • creates space for the eruption of permanent teeth preventing the need for permanent tooth extraction
  • helps fix the bite relationship of the upper to lower teeth and jaws
  • increass the airway, which may reduce the occurrence of sleep apnea and snoring later 
  • Creates a good foundation for gum and bone health around the errupting permanent  teeth


With the Fixed (RPE), what Appointment sequence can I expect?

There are 3 appointments required.  They are 1-2 weeks apart and take about 20-30 minutes each.

  1. placement of separators 
  2. fitting of bands                                                
  3. delivery of the Expander (RPE), with instructions

      Follow up visit s are 5-10 minutes and are about  2 weeks apart.

     The expander needs to stay in its final resting position for at least 6 months for the most stable result.


Torrey Pines Orthodontics

Phone: (858) 755-9990

Address: 12264 El Camino Real, Suite 109, San Diego, CA 92130

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