MARPE (Micro Implant Assisted Rapid Palatal Expansion)

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MARPE (Micro Implant Assisted Rapid Palatal Expansion) in Leesburg, VA

Patients who have a narrow maxilla can develop a range of issues, including hindered facial development, crowded teeth, and nasal obstruction, all of which can increase an individual’s risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. For children with a narrow maxilla, conventional maxillary expander treatments can be used to address this issue; however, the midpalatal suture, which holds the maxillary bone together eventually fuses between the ages of twelve to fifteen years old, after which conventional maxillary expanders will no longer be usable. Unlike conventional expanders, which anchor to the teeth, MARPE (Miniscrew-assisted rapid palatal expansion) offers a non-extraction and non-surgical treatment approach for young adults whose suture has fused by connecting the expander to their palatal bone to expand their upper jaw.

 At Lansdowne Dental Care, we recognize that every patient has a unique smile, and we are committed to working diligently to provide you with the care you need. If you are scheduled for an appoint for MARPE, or if you have any questions about the MARPE process or other treatment options, please contact us at 703.844.4403

The MARPE Process

The MARPE process can typically be completed in under thirty minutes and will begin with administration of a local anesthetic. Once you are comfortable, the custom-made maxillary expander and mini-screws are placed along the midpalatal suture, where it will gradually expand the maxillary bone by turning a screw every four to six seeks, which will apply direct forces to the suture. Once the new bone at the suture has formed, which typically takes between four to six months, the expander will be removed. There is minimal pain associated with this procedure, though it may be helpful to take pain medication for one to two days following placement of the MARPE to reduce discomfort.

Benefits of MARPE include:

  • Provides more room for the tongue to move forwards and upwards and sit, which provides more room in the airway
  • Decreased nasal resistance
  • Fewer side effects than conventional expanders

The MARPE Process

The MARPE process can typically be completed in under thirty minutes and will begin with administration of a local anesthetic. Once you are comfortable, the custom-made maxillary expander and mini-screws are placed along the midpalatal suture, where it will gradually expand the maxillary bone by turning a screw every four to six seeks, which will apply direct forces to the suture. Once the new bone at the suture has formed, which typically takes between four to six months, the expander will be removed. There is minimal pain associated with this procedure, though it may be helpful to take pain medication for one to two days following placement of the MARPE to reduce discomfort.

Benefits of MARPE include:

  • Provides more room for the tongue to move forwards and upwards and sit, which provides more room in the airway
  • Decreased nasal resistance
  • Fewer side effects than conventional expanders

Our Advanced Invisalign + iTero Scanning Process

Here at LDC, we can create a 3D image of your teeth in just minutes by using our iTero scanner. iTero scanner is an industry leading digital dentistry technology from the makers of Invisalign that helps us design clear aligners for patients during your smile and oral health assessment.

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Other Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

One of the most frequently used methods for treating sleep apnea is a CPAP machine, a device that is worn while sleeping that delivers air pressure through a mask. This forced air keeps your upper airway passages open and will prevent you from snoring. While effective at treating sleep apnea, many people find wearing the CPAP mask to be uncomfortable and do not continue to wear it as a result, although people who do stick with this method tend to get used to the sensation after some time. If you have begun using a CPAP machine to correct your sleep apnea but are dissatisfied with the experience, schedule a follow up appointment to see if a different machine may be better suited to your needs, or if there are any adjustments that can be made to your machine to increase your comfort level. It is also important to schedule a follow up appointment if you continue snoring or exhibiting any other signs of sleep apnea after beginning use of your machine.

While a CPAP machine is the most reliable treatment option for sleep apnea, some patients also have success wearing a specially designed oral appliance that is designed to keep your throat open while you sleep. The most important thing when seeking treatment is to find what treatment option is most comfortable for you and that you are committed to sticking with.

If you do not have success with a CPAP machine, oral device, and/or making lifestyle changes, surgical treatment is an option, though this is held off as a last resort and typically not considered until the patient has undergone at least a three-month trial of other treatment options. While the discomfort of pursuing other treatment options may be a dealbreaker for some patients, in other instances surgery may be the only viable treatment option due to structural issues of the patient’s jaw.

There are several different surgical approaches that can be performed to correct sleep apnea, including the following:

  • Tissue removal procedure: To prevent the vibration of throat structures, tissue from the top of your throat and back of your mouth is removed, and in many cases your adenoids and tonsils as well.
  • Tissue shrinkage: Mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea may be corrected by shrinking tissue in the back of your throat and mouth.
  • Jaw repositioning (maxillomandibular advancement):To enlarge the space behind the soft palate and tongue in order to minimize obstruction, the jaw is moved forward.
  • Nerve stimulation:A stimulator is surgically placed that is designed to control tongue movement and prevent it from moving in a position of blocking the airway.
  • Tracheostomy:If all other treatment options have been unsuccessful and sleep apnea is either life-threatening or sufficiently severe, a new air passageway can be made in the neck into which a breathing tube is placed.

Contact Us

Contact us To get Started

MARPE can make a remarkable difference in the lives of those with misaligned teeth and who are suffering from sleep apnea. Scheduling this appointment is your first step towards having that bright, full, healthy smile you have always dreamed of and getting the type of rest you need to wake up feeling healthy and refreshed. To schedule an appointment, or if you have any additional questions about the MARPE process, please contact us at 703.844.4403.

At Lansdowne Dental Care, we treat every patient like a member of our family and are committed to changing lives by creating beautiful smiles!

Dr. Tracey Nguyen DDS FAGD AAACD

Meet Dr. Tracey Nguyen

Dr. Tracey Nguyen received her Doctor of Dental Surgery, Magna cum laude, at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Nguyen is trained in all phases of implant dentistry, and has received extensive training in cosmetic dentistry. She is also a manuscript/review editor for the Academy of General Dentistry.

We are located in Leesburg, VA but proudly serve Lansdowne, Reston, Broadlands, Ashburn, Sterling, and all neighboring communities.