Maxillary Skeletal Expander (MSE)
A maxillary skeletal expander (MSE) is essentially a palatal expander adapted for adults. Palatal expanders are highly-effective orthodontic appliances that widen the upper jaw to match the lower jaw size – to provide optimal occlusion and a healthy alignment for permanent teeth.
This appliance may be used for skeletally matured patients; meaning, teens or adults whose teeth and jaws are done developing and who also have a narrow maxilla.
To place the device, four temporary micro screws are implanted into the roof of the mouth to anchor the appliance. Then the patient will ‘activate’ the device by inserting a special key into the center and turning it (one to five turns a day, depending on your personalized treatment plan).
Each time the device is activated, it will expand slightly, which also expands the jaw bone. Expansion is gradual and does not hurt our patients, but you may feel a slight tingling sensation around your nose when you activate the device. After a few minutes, this feeling should go away!
Based on the severity of your condition, you may be in active treatment with the MSE appliance for a month, then another six months or so may be necessary to solidify the end result.
Once MSE treatment is complete, it’s normal for the teeth to spread out a bit and create a gap as the jaw is wider and now able to accommodate all teeth when straightened out. A full treatment of braces, or clear aligners typically follows MSE treatment to align the teeth and perfect the smile.