MSE case board


Maxillary Skeletal Expanders are a great treatment option for those looking to avoid surgical procedures, improve respiratory functions, open the nasal cavity and more.

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What is MSE in orthodontics?

Maxillary Skeletal Expanders (MSE) is an orthodontic appliance that’s an alternative to avoid extensive surgical procedures. MSE is a non-surgical device for adults with a narrowed, high-angle palate, or upper and lower jaw discrepancy. They can correct narrow upper jaws among older patients in a non-invasive manner by placing four titanium alloy TADs in the palate, then using a wrench for activation. This type of skeletal expansion offers additional health benefits.

Benefits of an MSE

A treatment plan with an MSE creates space to provide the following:

  • Improved airway and respiratory function
  • Alleviated symptoms of sleep apnea
  • Open nasal cavity spaces
  • Allow room for the tongue
  • Relieve crowding issues and crossbites
  • Alternative to surgery

Who needs a maxillary skeletal expander?

This appliance may be useful for skeletally mature patients, meaning teenagers or adults whose teeth and jaw bones are fully developed but who also have a narrow upper jaw.

If the maxillary bones are disproportionately narrow, they may restrict the airway and cause crooked and/or crowded teeth.

Most often, standard orthodontic treatments can be completed with just braces, lingual braces such as Brius or clear aligners such as Invisalign. However, if there isn’t enough space in the mouth for the teeth to move into their new positions, Dr. Yang may recommend a treatment plan including an MSE.

What is the difference between an MSE and RPE?

An MSE is meant for adults whose jaw is already fused. Rapid Palatal Expanders (RPE) is a form of treatment only for children who are still growing. RPE can not be used on developed jaws. If RPE treatment were performed on adults, the palatal expander would cause the posterior teeth to flare. 

Surgical intervention has historically been the only means for correcting narrow upper jaw problems among adults. Thanks to advancements in orthodontic treatment, an alternative non-surgical treatment option is now available for adults who have a narrow upper jaw. Surgical procedures are a last resort and typically not considered until the patient has undergone trials of other treatment options.

Yang Orthodontics is committed to providing our patients with the least invasive treatment available. To find out if a maxillary skeletal expander could be right for you, you can call or text us at 215-757-0864 or click here.

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