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Types of Expansion

Expansion is a technique used to create space to align teeth and avoid extractions.  It is also an important tool used to change the structure of the jaw to improve breathing for patients that may be suffering from sleep related breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea.


A conventional expander for the upper jaw, also known as the maxilla, is effective but only for a limited time.  It is primarily for children before the age of twelve. 


The MARPE technique extends this window of time for expansion into adulthood. 

This new technique has actually been in development for more than ten years.  MARPE stands for Miniscrew-Assisted Rapid Palatal Expansion.

MARPE is an effective non-extraction treatment approach.

While the MARPE is used by orthodontists to create space for teeth, the roof of the mouth, is the floor of the nose.  It increases the volume of the nasal cavity and reduced airway resistance for better nasal breathing.   


Widening the upper jaw gives more space for the tongue to sit up and forward which helps to improve the airway behind the tongue and soft-palate for people with sleep disordered breathing such as obstructive sleep apnea.

The MARPE is also used part of an approach that improves facial balance for underbites. 

With this technique, it is possible that jaw surgery that requires an overnight stay in the hospital may be avoided. 


The diagnosis and treatment of obstructive breathing disorder is complicated and varies from person to person.  It is important to have a thorough diagnosis which may include different health care providers.


The window opportunity is greater for women than men, so come in and have a chat with us to determine if you are a candidate before the window of time closes.

For more information, contact our office today!

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