Surgically Assisted Rapid Palatal Expansion
Surgically Assisted Rapid Palatal Expansion, or SARPE, combines surgery and orthodontic appliances. Orthodontists might suggest SARPE for adults or older children who need to widen a small palate. This treatment can also correct a bilateral crossbite, or deal with crowded teeth in the upper arch.
Older patients will likely need to choose SARPE. That’s because the palate is formed by two bones that join in the dome of the upper jaw. These bones typically fuse during puberty. And that’s why it’s recommended to get a palatal expander in earlier years.
Of course, moms know that kids grow and change rapidly. So, sometimes, we miss the optimal window for certain treatments. If that’s the case for your child, we can still offer mouth expansion. But it might have to include surgical intervention.
The SARPE procedure involves local anesthesia and sedation. First, your orthodontist places an RPE in your mouth. Then, your surgeon will cut the bone in the middle of your palate. You might also need a Lefort 1 osteotomy, a procedure that will allow your fused palate to expand.
Following surgery, you or your child will need several days of recovery period. After that, you can begin to expand your device. Even after you’ve achieved your desired expansion, the RPE must stay in place for several months. During this period of stabilization, your bones can fuse in their new position.