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You can easily shave down a palate expander to refit it to your mouth

TGW
 TGW
TGW Admin Admin

To resolve two issues which have been brought up with the acrylic palate expanders:

  1. As the palate drops down and flattens (from its vaulted shape) with expansion, the top of the expander contacts the palate and sits lower in the upper jaw than it should
  2. As the palate expands, the teeth and gums may move around. This will cause the expander to perhaps dig into the gums or push against teeth uncomfortably

The good news: The acrylic on the expanders can be easily sanded/shaved down with minimal effort. With the expander in your mouth, use your fingers to locate where the expander acrylic has excess material and then sand away at that area. You do not need to worry about shaving too much, just keep sanding it and putting it back into your mouth until you feel that the hard part causing the issue has been sanded away. 

Even the file on a nail clipper is sufficient to wear the material down quite easily. I recommend using a metal file over something like sandpaper in order to prevent roughness on the surface of the acrylic which both causes discomfort and harbours bacteria.

Be sure to wash off the acrylic dust before putting it back in your mouth! You should get significantly more mileage out of the expander like this. 

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Topic starter Posted : 31/01/2018 1:01 pm
Apollo liked
Allixa
Estimable Member

Good tip. I'll definitely do this once my expander comes in and I get to the point where things start to need adjustments.

I hope that when you are ready you'll make a post about your experiences with the expander. I'm planning to do something like that since we don't have many in-detail first hand stories about the expansion process. It seems that most people get the results they are looking for and then vanish.

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Posted : 31/01/2018 2:44 pm
Apollo liked
Apollo
Reputable Member

I'm definitely planning to adjust my expander as needed to increase its longevity. My understanding is that orthodontists do the same thing. I was wondering if I would need to use my dremel tool, but a hand file will probably allow better control. Of course there is only so far that the acrylic can be reduced before you start to expose the screw mechanism or the wires. I am worried that my fit will be impacted by changes to my asymmetric Torus Palatinus ridge at the center of my palate, so it's good to have confirmation that the screw mechanism should be low enough in the acrylic for me to be able to shave off those contours. Another adjustment I have been considering is to split the labial bow so that it can separate and won't put retractive pressure on my incisors as I expand the screw. What do you think of this idea?

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Posted : 31/01/2018 3:17 pm
Allixa
Estimable Member
Posted by: Apollo

I'm definitely planning to adjust my expander as needed to increase its longevity. My understanding is that orthodontists do the same thing. I was wondering if I would need to use my dremel tool, but a hand file will probably allow better control. Of course there is only so far that the acrylic can be reduced before you start to expose the screw mechanism or the wires. I am worried that my fit will be impacted by changes to my asymmetric Torus Palatinus ridge at the center of my palate, so it's good to have confirmation that the screw mechanism should be low enough in the acrylic for me to be able to shave off those contours. Another adjustment I have been considering is to split the labial bow so that it can separate and won't put retractive pressure on my incisors as I expand the screw. What do you think of this idea?

I'm actually interested to see if expansion is possible in people that have a Torus Palatinus. I have one myself. Some books online I have found claim that it represents a fusing of the suture with dense cortical bone and that it requires surgical removal before expansion can happen. However, when I go in there with my hands and pull my suture apart, I feel good pressure throughout my skull and seem to temporarily gain more space for my tongue.

If all else fails and the device is too weak to pull my suture apart, my plan is to use my hands to force things to happen and to use the device simply as a retainer.

Your idea about the labial bow is interesting. I don't know much about it. But in this picture of a fully activated appliance it doesn't look like the labial bow gets in the way too much:

I'd probably have to hold one in my hands to know for sure.

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Posted : 31/01/2018 3:35 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member
Posted by: Allixa

Your idea about the labial bow is interesting. I don't know much about it. But in this picture of a fully activated appliance it doesn't look like the labial bow gets in the way too much:

 

Because the labial bow connects to both sides of the extender, it will become less arched as the two sides separate. Even in the picture you posted with the fully activated extender sitting within the original cast, the labial bow looks to have straightened out to the point that it now sits behind the starting position of the central incisors. Doesn't this suggests that during the process of expanding the appliance it would put pressure on those front teeth that would shift them back? I guess the back teeth are probably also coming forward so maybe the amount the front teeth would shift back is insignificant, and I can see how splitting the bow would make the device less stable, but I think I'm inclined to avoid the backward force if possible. What do you think? 

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Posted : 31/01/2018 4:15 pm
Gregory
Eminent Member
Posted by: Allixa
Posted by: Apollo

I'm definitely planning to adjust my expander as needed to increase its longevity. My understanding is that orthodontists do the same thing. I was wondering if I would need to use my dremel tool, but a hand file will probably allow better control. Of course there is only so far that the acrylic can be reduced before you start to expose the screw mechanism or the wires. I am worried that my fit will be impacted by changes to my asymmetric Torus Palatinus ridge at the center of my palate, so it's good to have confirmation that the screw mechanism should be low enough in the acrylic for me to be able to shave off those contours. Another adjustment I have been considering is to split the labial bow so that it can separate and won't put retractive pressure on my incisors as I expand the screw. What do you think of this idea?

I'm actually interested to see if expansion is possible in people that have a Torus Palatinus. I have one myself. Some books online I have found claim that it represents a fusing of the suture with dense cortical bone and that it requires surgical removal before expansion can happen. However, when I go in there with my hands and pull my suture apart, I feel good pressure throughout my skull and seem to temporarily gain more space for my tongue.

If all else fails and the device is too weak to pull my suture apart, my plan is to use my hands to force things to happen and to use the device simply as a retainer.

Your idea about the labial bow is interesting. I don't know much about it. But in this picture of a fully activated appliance it doesn't look like the labial bow gets in the way too much:

I'd probably have to hold one in my hands to know for sure.

Well this thread was motivating enough that I went ahead and ordered my own expander.

I appreciate you, TGW.

sanding down is suitable? That does add some useful mileage to the expanders like you say. It is intuitive. It is true! But I admit I’d have hesitated to modify my “precious” this way.

 

now. Anyone on this site: can you confirm there’s been expansion despite torus palatinus?

Re: Apollo and labial how. Using that photo as a reference 

Hmm. I asked myself whether any negative forces on the front teeth were an intentional part of the design so as to slow down the expansion just a *little* bit more so as to make it more stable. Make it more akin to slow expansion rather than the dreaded rapid expansion. 

I would also not prefer the backwards force, yet consider it may be a necessary aspect to being patient for the best results by keeping it. 

Initial thought was that by splitting the bow, there is chance for there to be unequal forces applied to left and right side of maxilla. Just By merit of the bow being disconnected, I believe there is a greater chance for unequal forces — however slight.  I’m disinclined towards that possibility.

Another thought is that if the bow is distributing any sort of force along the wire against the teeth — cutting the wire and the changes it makes to how the force is distributed is also something I’m concerned about.

devil’s advocate to myself

: if your plate is built in 2 parts and not 3... maybe in that case the split labial bow would apply forces advantageously? By splitting the bow in such a way that the wire was only applying force against each individual acrylic plate  and  Would engage each half of the acrylic plate -> <- individually then maybe that allows more sutural activation/stimulation to the mid face than just a Central bow pushing backwards?

id have to rewatch that video on YouTube in which the image is a diagram of the jaw and arrows indicating downward and upward forces where the teeth meet and try to apply that to a potential split wire on the front 

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Posted : 01/02/2018 8:59 pm
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Apollo
Reputable Member
Posted by: Colette
Posted by: TGW

Thank you so much for the review Colette. 

For other users, 11 turns works out to about 2.75mm of expansion. If ever numbers in mm seem small to you, it's because your face/skull is behind your eyeballs and you may not appreciate how small it really is. A mm of change is a lot.  

Colette, I've only found out today that my expander has been shipped so I cannot give a definite solution yet. I will have it in less than a month.

However the first thing that came to mind was to sand off the excess acrylic as you expand. Is there enough acrylic above the expander screw to shave down? 

In referral to your desire for a metal expander which is pushing the teeth and not the palate: This is the incorrect method to take. Attaching expanders to the teeth will only remodel the alveolar ridge and tip teeth. How our jaws/mouths grow necessitates that the device push the palate above the teeth and not the teeth themselves. This will give you primarily suture growth in addition to alveolar remodeling, which is what you want. I have read many studies on the subject confirming this.

I apologize for not linking the studies. I'm sitting on a ton of research downloaded and bookmarked which I will still need time to sort through and refine into articles to post on this website. This isn't my full time job so I can't say how long it will take - especially because almost daily I come across more research and anecdotal experiences further confirming these ideas.

However, if you look at the Biobloc (Mew), ALF appliance, DNA appliance, and Homeobloc: All of the appliances made by professionals on the cutting edge of this research use acrylic pushing against the palate separating with a screw at the suture and not expanders attached to the teeth. 

 Could you let us know about the changes you feel and see? Namely health, breathing ability, bone movement, and A E S T H E T I C S? 🙂

Thanks for your reply! I think shaving off the top is a great idea. I bet I could manage some space. One of the other problems is now the expander is putting force on my front teeth. As the front bar (in front of the teeth) is pulled to the side, it pushes back. Therefore the plastic part itself is still in place and the bar is pushing my teeth far into it. I do actually feel that my front right tooth has been dug out a bit. I'd like to shave off some space in the front for my teeth to move back, though I'm not sure how. 

As for all those appliances, they intrigue me immensely, but I am on a TIGHT budget. I don't know that I could afford that in this lifetime. (Unless they drop dramatically to around $200 or less). 

Some of the things I have noticed with 2.75 mm of expansion is that I can breath better. My lips touch easier (even though there was only mild height taken from my face). I have more space for my tongue, and my cheek bones are a bit more prominent. There is still work to do, but overall I am highly satisfied!!

Thank you for your wealth of knowledge and conscientious responses.

 

Best, 

Colette

Here is a related discussion between @nicolettelala and TGW about modifying the expander to prolong its utility (  https://the-great-work.org/community/main-forum/review-of-active-expander/ ). I wonder if she tried TGW's suggestion to shave down some of the acrylic. Colette also mentions the issue of the labial bow pushing back on the front teeth as the expander separates. Unfortunately she hasn't posted any updates in a couple months.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 01/02/2018 9:21 pm
Allixa
Estimable Member
Posted by: Apollo
Posted by: Allixa

Your idea about the labial bow is interesting. I don't know much about it. But in this picture of a fully activated appliance it doesn't look like the labial bow gets in the way too much:

 

Because the labial bow connects to both sides of the extender, it will become less arched as the two sides separate. Even in the picture you posted with the fully activated extender sitting within the original cast, the labial bow looks to have straightened out to the point that it now sits behind the starting position of the central incisors. Doesn't this suggests that during the process of expanding the appliance it would put pressure on those front teeth that would shift them back? I guess the back teeth are probably also coming forward so maybe the amount the front teeth would shift back is insignificant, and I can see how splitting the bow would make the device less stable, but I think I'm inclined to avoid the backward force if possible. What do you think? 

I see exactly what you are talking about. In the image I posted here, the labial bow is in the way of the front incisors. That's just the camera angle though. I was actually referring to the distance from the acrylic to the labial bow on the device itself, without focusing on the fake teeth in the picture. It looks unchanged even though the device is fully engaged.

However, it makes complete sense that the labial bow would start to put pressure against the teeth as the device expands. I can't say for sure because I've never used a device like this before. My gut feeling about it would be to start the expansion process without making any changes and then to wait and see what happens after a few turns, or a few weeks or months even. Cutting the labial bow is an irreversible change so you want to make sure that you are absolutely sure before you do that. Everything that you brought up makes sense though. I may end up cutting mine as well if I notice is it pushing my front teeth backwards. The middle screw should be the thing that provides stability to the device, not the labial bow, so it shouldn't be an issue. Just make sure that you realize if you decide to make that cut that you are doing it with the knowledge that it might break something.

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Posted : 02/02/2018 8:03 pm
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Apollo
Reputable Member

I think orthodontists use special pliers to squeeze the "adjustment loops" over the canines on the labial bow to make the wire more taut or give the wire more slack. We might be able to use needle nose pliers to bend the loops open slightly if the labial bow gets too tight during the course of expansion. This seems like a much less drastic adjustment than my original idea to cut the labial bow into two separate halves.

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Posted : 02/02/2018 8:20 pm
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Allixa
Estimable Member

Awesome. That looks like exactly what we needed to know. Maybe we won't have to do any cutting after all.

I found a video that covers the same topic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCUmgprdDIE

Looks like the labial bow is capable of a lot of things if you learn to adjust it properly.

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Posted : 02/02/2018 8:31 pm
TGW liked
TGW
 TGW
TGW Admin Admin
Posted by: Allixa

Good tip. I'll definitely do this once my expander comes in and I get to the point where things start to need adjustments.

I hope that when you are ready you'll make a post about your experiences with the expander. I'm planning to do something like that since we don't have many in-detail first hand stories about the expansion process. It seems that most people get the results they are looking for and then vanish.

I'll always be updating on progress and new ideas/methods. I have an underbite, and X-rays/impressions of it : I'm waiting to achieve positive overjet and then I will take new X-rays. As of yet all I have 100% proof of is that the adult palate can be expanded all the way to its proper size. Part 2 is actually bringing the maxilla into its proper position (Which expanding helps with). I'm very sure I've already moved it forward a few millimeters, and my face / spine / health / posture have all improved considerably.

 

Yet this will always be chalked up to lighting/fat/etc by those looking to discredit the ideas. So my only goal is the end state of completely irrefutable maxillary expansion and movement back into the correct position, on the scale of over a centimeter of movement, with medical professionals (an ortho, a surgeon, and two chiropractors) being able to vouch for the changes. 

And then of course dumping everything I've learned about how to achieve this here, and forwarding results to Dr. Mew

I'm here for the long haul, no worries

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Topic starter Posted : 05/02/2018 12:00 pm
Apollo liked
Allixa
Estimable Member

That's great news. Most of the success stories that I have read so far come without any real proof. Having proper X-rays of results might be just what is needed to boost these ideas to the next level of acceptance.

I'll try and contribute proof of real changes as well. I've already gotten many great changes but with no documentation. But I've just sent in my impression kit and if I am able to get real expansion with the appliance that comes back I will get a mold of my teeth made and think about posting the results as more proof.

I would be careful with Dr. Mew lately though. He seems to be very overwhelmed nowadays and looks like he is going down a bit of a strange path. Most of his newer ideas actually came from posts that I have made in other forums and he still seems to be dismissive of the idea of total body health/metabolism when it comes to making facial changes possible. There's a reason results are easier in children and it isn't unfused sutures, as you know. I'm glad someone is picking up and promoting those earlier ideas though, as they would have gone unnoticed otherwise.

I might take a bit of a break from the forum once the expander comes in so that I can focus 100% on getting results. From my measurements it looks like I need about 5-6mm of expansion to fix my occlusion. If I can get that then I will probably stop expanding there and let my body take over or at least give it time to adjust.

As a sidenote it seems like a lot of good posts are already getting drowned in the noise even though we have barely started growing as a forum. I wonder if there is a solution for that.

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Posted : 08/02/2018 11:47 am
Apollo
Reputable Member

A recent post (  https://the-great-work.org/community/main-forum/afraid-your-teeth-might-fall-out/#post-13010 ) mentioned the blog Truthbutter (  http://truthbutter.com/ape-diary-5-my-consult-with-dr-brad-lockhart/ ). I've enjoyed reading about her palate expansion process. One of the points that stood out to me was the advice she received from Dr. Brad Lockhart about how to adjust the acrylic of her expander to maintain the fit:

He also taught me how he adjusts appliances by testing for pressure points on the palate and shaving off parts of the acrylic. So now I can teach my ortho!

He told me to take a picture of this spray and tell my ortho to get some. He uses it to test for pressure points.

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Posted : 23/12/2018 10:45 pm
darkindigo
Reputable Member

Yes... instead of hydent denture spray... you can get some white chocolate kit kat bars... rub it on the top... place in mouth... shave off where it hits.  Repeat.  I explained all this forever ago.

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Posted : 23/12/2018 10:52 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member
Posted by: darkindigo

check this out!!!! http://truthbutter.com/ape-diary-5-my-consult-with-dr-brad-lockhart/   This denture spray is sick, as in awesome!  I'm going to start a new thread on all this.

 

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Posted : 23/12/2018 11:04 pm
darkindigo
Reputable Member
Posted by: Apollo
Posted by: darkindigo

check this out!!!! http://truthbutter.com/ape-diary-5-my-consult-with-dr-brad-lockhart/   This denture spray is sick, as in awesome!  I'm going to start a new thread on all this.

 

Yeah - my thread got closed for low quality by Progress.  Whatever.

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Posted : 23/12/2018 11:23 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member
 
Does anyone have any idea for how to reposition or extend the guide pins that sit on either side of an expander screw? This seems to be the variable limiting the expansion potential. The screw has more threaded length to continue turning, but the guide pins are fixed on one side and pull out on the other side allowing the two halves of the expander to rotate around the screw. I've tried pulling the guide pins out with pliers, but couldn't get them loose. I suppose it is possible to continue using the expander and just be careful inserting and removing it to prevent it rotating around the screw, but it feels pretty flimsy. I've thought about attaching some kind of spacer with holes for the guide pins and screw to fill in the gap. I also considered cutting off the guide pins and drilling out the holes where they were stuck and then replacing them with longer posts. Of course the other option would be ordering a totally new expander, but that involves the expense and time for the lab to fabricate it. When I encountered this problem a few years ago while experimenting with an expander, I just gave up and stopped turning:
Posted by: @apollo

I tried advancing my expander two more turns just to see if it would hold together. The stabilizing rods on either side of the screw started to pull through the left bracket. This is why it has been wobbly. I've mentioned before how the rods have been stuck in the acrylic and haven't budged on the right side. I haven't had any luck pulling them over with tweezers. I was able to line the rods back up with the holes on the left side and tighten the screw back to where I had it, but it looks like I will only be able to turn the screw one more time and then have to stop at what I think is about 6-3/4mm.

 

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Posted : 17/06/2021 2:34 pm
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TGW
 TGW
TGW Admin Admin
Posted by: @apollo
 
Does anyone have any idea for how to reposition or extend the guide pins that sit on either side of an expander screw? This seems to be the variable limiting the expansion potential. The screw has more threaded length to continue turning, but the guide pins are fixed on one side and pull out on the other side allowing the two halves of the expander to rotate around the screw. I've tried pulling the guide pins out with pliers, but couldn't get them loose. I suppose it is possible to continue using the expander and just be careful inserting and removing it to prevent it rotating around the screw, but it feels pretty flimsy. I've thought about attaching some kind of spacer with holes for the guide pins and screw to fill in the gap. I also considered cutting off the guide pins and drilling out the holes where they were stuck and then replacing them with longer posts. Of course the other option would be ordering a totally new expander, but that involves the expense and time for the lab to fabricate it. When I encountered this problem a few years ago while experimenting with an expander, I just gave up and stopped turning:
Posted by: @apollo

I tried advancing my expander two more turns just to see if it would hold together. The stabilizing rods on either side of the screw started to pull through the left bracket. This is why it has been wobbly. I've mentioned before how the rods have been stuck in the acrylic and haven't budged on the right side. I haven't had any luck pulling them over with tweezers. I was able to line the rods back up with the holes on the left side and tighten the screw back to where I had it, but it looks like I will only be able to turn the screw one more time and then have to stop at what I think is about 6-3/4mm.

 

@Apollo Have you maxed out an expander? That's quite a bit of movement

 

 

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Topic starter Posted : 23/06/2021 6:39 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member
Posted by: @admin

@Apollo Have you maxed out an expander? That's quite a bit of movement

I'm experimenting with a lower removeable acrylic expander to help my mandibular arch meet up with my maxillary arch during the retention period of my MSE treatment ( https://the-great-work.org/community/main-forum/has-anyone-used-a-forward-pull-facemask-with-a-vivos-dna-appliance/#post-37382 ). We could just use invisalign to bring the bite together, but I'm hoping the expander will give me some remodeling of the mandible rather than relying exclusively on dental movement. Unfortunately, my lower expander maxes out around just 5mm, when the guide pins beside the expansion screw pull through and allow the two halves of the expander to rotate. I'm currently over 4.5mm, so I have about 2 turns left (1 turn/week). I finished all the turns on my 10mm MSE on top, so I could still use at least a couple more millimeters on the bottom. It seems like the screw is long enough, but I need the guide pins to be longer. Let me know if you have any ideas!

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Posted : 24/06/2021 1:11 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member
Posted by: @apollo
 
Leone Expansion Screws
Does anyone have any idea for how to reposition or extend the guide pins that sit on either side of an expander screw? This seems to be the variable limiting the expansion potential. The screw has more threaded length to continue turning, but the guide pins are fixed on one side and pull out on the other side allowing the two halves of the expander to rotate around the screw. I've tried pulling the guide pins out with pliers, but couldn't get them loose. I suppose it is possible to continue using the expander and just be careful inserting and removing it to prevent it rotating around the screw, but it feels pretty flimsy. I've thought about attaching some kind of spacer with holes for the guide pins and screw to fill in the gap. I also considered cutting off the guide pins and drilling out the holes where they were stuck and then replacing them with longer posts. Of course the other option would be ordering a totally new expander, but that involves the expense and time for the lab to fabricate it.

At 27 turns (about 5mm), the guide pins along side my expander screw have started to pull through their brackets on one side. If I try to advance another turn it doesn't feel stable enough with only the screw holding the two halves of the expander together as it wants to bend when I put it in my mouth (causing pressure points) from the reciprocal force against my teeth and alveolar ridge. The screw can advance at least another 3mm. In my previous post I was debating ways to stabilize it so that I could continue using this expander rather than buying and waiting for a replacement. I had proposed cutting off and drilling out the old guide pins to put in longer posts, but the narrowest stainless steel nails/brads at the hardware store appear to be slightly thicker. So here's my new plan: rather than replacing the old guide pins, I'm just going to add a new one into the acrylic framework below the expander mechanism. The hard part will be drilling the holes parallel to the screw, but if I can get that right, I'll cut the head and tip off of a little nail to a length longer than the screw and polish the ends. Together, the screw and the jerry-rigged guide pin should be enough to keep the expander from bending or rotating. Let me know what you think of this strategy!

 

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Posted : 18/07/2021 1:19 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member
Posted by: @apollo

At 27 turns (about 5mm), the guide pins along side my expander screw have started to pull through their brackets on one side. If I try to advance another turn it doesn't feel stable enough with only the screw holding the two halves of the expander together as it wants to bend when I put it in my mouth (causing pressure points) from the reciprocal force against my teeth and alveolar ridge. The screw can advance at least another 3mm. In my previous post I was debating ways to stabilize it so that I could continue using this expander rather than buying and waiting for a replacement. I had proposed cutting off and drilling out the old guide pins to put in longer posts, but the narrowest stainless steel nails/brads at the hardware store appear to be slightly thicker. So here's my new plan: rather than replacing the old guide pins, I'm just going to add a new one into the acrylic framework below the expander mechanism. The hard part will be drilling the holes parallel to the screw, but if I can get that right, I'll cut the head and tip off of a little nail to a length longer than the screw and polish the ends. Together, the screw and the jerry-rigged guide pin should be enough to keep the expander from bending or rotating. Let me know what you think of this strategy!

I went ahead and added a new, longer guide pin in the acrylic below the mechanism on my expander. The good news is that I got it drilled and inserted without breaking any of the parts and it definitely has improved the stability. The bad news is that there's still some play once I expand out beyond the old guide pins and only the screw and the new guide pin are holding the two halves together. In effect it's possible to squeeze the back of the expander so that the ends by the molars bend together by a couple millimeters. So the expander has probably been working on my intercanine width more than my intermolar width. Anyway, I think I might be able to eke out another millimeter or two with this new guide pin in place.

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Posted : 21/07/2021 6:28 pm
TGW liked