Trans-Palatal Arches

What is a trans-palatal arch?

A trans-palatal arch is an arch maintainer appliance that goes across the palate. A trans-palatal arch attaches to the first molar teeth via Orthodontic Bands.

A similar device is occasionally used in the lower arch. This is called a lingual arch.

When is a trans-palatal arch used?

If we want to maintain the position of the first molars, an arch maintainer such as a trans-palatal arch may be used.

The trans-palatal arch holds the molars in their original position so that if any teeth are extracted to make room for the others to straighten, the molars will not move into the extraction spaces.

How is it made?

Separators are placed first and are inserted with a special tool. Slight tightness is felt when the separator is inserted. The whole procedure takes less than a couple of minutes.

You will be sent away for several days with the separators in place. When you return, the separators are removed with a probe. The correct size bands are then selected for your teeth. Once a correctly fitting band has been chosen, an impression (record) of your teeth with the bands in place will be taken. The impression, together with the bands will be sent to the laboratory for construction of the trans-palatal arch. Separators will be placed again until you come back to have the trans-palatal arch fitted. Construction of the trans-palatal arch takes between 1 and 3 weeks.

How is a trans-palatal arch used?

Once the trans-palatal arch is constructed, it is attached to the teeth via the orthodontic bands using special glue.

How often will I need to be seen by the orthodontist?

The orthodontist will see you at the normal interval of 6 to 8 weeks.

How long will treatment with a trans-palatal arch take?

A trans-palatal arch usually forms the first stage of fixed brace treatment. You will usually have the trans-palatal arch in your mouth before any extractions are done. Once the extractions are done, the remaining fixed brace can be placed.

The trans-palatal arch can be in place for about half of the treatment time. Total treatment duration varies from between 12 months and 24 months. Some treatments can be quicker and other may take longer depending on the correction needed.