Maxillary Skeletal Expanders (MSE)

A maxillary skeletal expander (MSE) is essentially a palatal expander adapted for adults. 

Palatal expanders are highly-effective orthodontic appliances that widen the upper jaw to match the lower jaw size – to provide optimal occlusion and a healthy alignment for permanent teeth. In cases where the permanent teeth have already emerged and settled into the adult years, traditional palatal expander treatment could cause the teeth to flare outward, or protrude.

The MSE appliance provides non surgical palatal expansion for adults. With MSE treatment, we can prevent this flare and avoid invasive surgery (surgically-assisted rapid palatal expansion) that may otherwise be required to widen the jaws. 

A maxillary skeletal expander (MSE)

Who needs a maxillary skeletal expander?

This appliance may be used for skeletally matured patients; meaning, teens or adults whose teeth and jaws are done developing and who also have a narrow maxilla

The maxilla is the bone that forms the upper jaw. When the maxilla is disproportionately narrow, compared to the lower jaw and teeth, this can restrict the airway and result in crooked, crowded teeth. 

In most cases, the teeth cannot be corrected with braces, Brius, or Invisalign® only, without widening the upper jaw. If there is not sufficient room in the jaws for the teeth to straighten out, Dr. Matsumoto will likely suggest MSE treatment.

How does MSE treatment work?

If Dr. Matsumoto determines that maxillary skeletal expander treatment is best for your case, he’ll explain the process to you!

To place the device, four temporary micro screws are implanted into the roof of the mouth. The expansion device is then placed in the middle. The patient will ‘activate’ the device by inserting a special key into the center and turning it (once or twice a day, depending on your personalized treatment plan).

Each time the device is activated, it will expand slightly, which also expands the jaw bone. Expansion is gradual and does not hurt our patients, but you may feel a slight tingling sensation around your nose when you activate the device. After a few minutes, this feeling should go away!

Based on the severity of your condition, you may be in active treatment with the MSE appliance for a month, then another six months or so may be necessary to solidify the end result.

Once MSE treatment is complete, it’s normal for the teeth to spread out a bit and create a gap as the jaw is wider and now able to accommodate all teeth when straightened out. A full treatment of braces, Brius or Invisalign typically follows MSE treatment to align the teeth and perfect the smile.


How much does the MSE appliance cost?

The cost of your MSE appliance will be included in your personalized treatment plan. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all cost when it comes to orthodontic treatment with us, because each patient has different needs.

We’ll work with you to create a payment plan that helps you cover the whole cost of treatment. We offer flexible financing with in-house payment plans, and accept LendingPoint as an outside financing option.

At your first visit to our office, Dr. Matsumoto will create your personalized treatment plan and our treatment coordinator will create a financing plan that suits your budget. 

MSE appliance cost

Have questions about maxillary skeletal expanders?

We’re here to answer your questions, and we want you to know your options! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.

Dr. Matsumoto and our experienced team are here to guide you, so you can experience a positive treatment process while you achieve your perfect smile.

Ready to get started? Request your complimentary consultation at our convenient Porters Neck office in Wilmington, NC today! While the majority of our consultations are free, charges may apply in select complex surgical or complicated cases.