How a Hyrax Expander Works

When an orthodontic patient presents with a narrow palate, the first order of orthodontic care is to expand the palate. A narrow palate leads to crowding of teeth, which causes they to become misaligned and requiring orthodontic care. That is where a Hyrax expander comes in handy.

How Does an Orthodontic Hyrax Expander work?

Rapid, slow, and surgical maxillary expansion, a clinical term for palate expansion, are the three treatment types to correct the narrow palate. Rapid maxillary expansion is the preferred treatment to correct maxillary deficiency, maxillary constriction, and posterior crossbites.

The hyrax expander is a rapid palate expander that fits in the roof of the mouth and attaches to the upper back teeth for stability. A tiny screw in the center is turned daily with a palate expander key to widen the hyrax appliance. This tension gradually separates your two palatal bones, causing your jaw to widen.

What are the advantages of the hyrax appliance?

The Hygienic Rapid Expander or the HYRAX appliance has the following advantages:

  • It does not irritate the soft tissue in the palate
  • It is easy to clean
  • Minimum dental movement
  • Maximum skeletal involvement

How does the hyrax appliance act?

The expander appliance is set on the ridgeline in the middle of the palate which provides the same amount of movement on both sides of the palate. This produces a V-shaped widening of the suture in the horizontal plane.

It usually takes a few weeks to achieve the desired level of expansion. Most patients will continue wearing their orthodontic expander for about six months afterward. During this time, new bone will form in the gap between the maxillary bones, allowing the expansion to be stabilized and permanent.

Most orthodontists recommend wearing a palate expander for at least six months. At six months, some doctors will remove the expander and replace it with a smaller appliance to hold the expansion in place, such as a transpalatal arch or a removable acrylic retainer.

Effect of hyrax on the palate bone

  1. Palate bone displaced downward and forward
  2. Side tilting of the teeth’s holding bone (alveolar bone)
  3. Midline diastema in maxillary central incisors
  4. buccal tipping and extrusion of the maxillary molars
  5. Increase in the nasal cavity width

If you or one of your children are in need of orthodontic treatment, Dr. Davidson offers expert orthodontic care at our Beavercreek and West Chester offices. Dr. Davidson will evaluate the teeth and palate structure to determine if a hyrax expander is needed to achieve optimal orthodontic results. Schedule an appointment today or contact our office to schedule a Free Consultation.