Space Maintainers (Lower or Upper Lingual Holding Arches)
A lingual holding arch (Phase I treatment) is recommended for children who have lost primary teeth or “baby teeth” too soon. Primary teeth are considered Mother Nature’s way of keeping space where it is needed. In the instance that a baby tooth is extracted, damaged or falls out too soon, a space maintainer is recommended.
The lower lingual holding arch appliance will hold the permanent molars in place while baby teeth are falling out and permanent teeth are erupting. Two bands (braces) are cemented to two lower molars. Attached to the bands is a U-shaped bar. The appliance will remain in the mouth until all permanent teeth have erupted and the patient is ready to begin Phase II- comprehensive orthodontic treatment.
Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)
A palate expander (Phase I treatment) is an appliance that widens the upper jaw. This widening or “expansion” is usually indicated to correct an upper jaw that is too narrow with a malocclusion called a “crossbite.” The upper jaw can also be widened to create additional space for crowded or blocked out teeth.
The appliance has a screw-type mechanism that is turned with a special key that we provide. It can be turned by either the patient or parent. You may notice that a space develops between the front teeth during the expansion. This will close after the widening is complete. Once the necessary expansion is achieved, the expander is left in place to stabilize the correction for three to four months.