If you are interested in quad helix appliances, you might have researched words like quad helix orthodontic appliance, quad helix expander, quad helix appliance, or quad helix ortho appliance. But what is a quad helix appliance? How does a quad helix expander work? What is a quad helix used to correct and how long does it take for a quad helix to work? And perhaps most importantly, how much does a quad helix cost?
We’ll learn more about quad helix expanders in just a moment, but let’s start with what some of the experts of orthodontic medicine have to say.
The quad helix appliance is a type of slow orthodontic maxillary expansion appliance used in the mixed dentition period (Simon LS et al.,2021).
Especially in the field of pediatric dentistry, mixed dentition (a combination of adult teeth and milk teeth) is the most critical stage in the development of occlusion (Simon LS et al.,2021).
The appliance selection is one of the most important steps in the process of treatment planning to obtain an optimal result (Simon LS et al.,2021).
What is a Quad Helix Appliance?
The best way to learn about a quad helix appliance is to talk to your orthodontist. Your orthodontist might have pictures or a sample 3-D model of a quad helix appliance. Depending on what type of learner you are, you might benefit from a visual representation of a 3-D model of a quad helix orthodontic appliance. However, in general, here is a brief description of the quad helix appliance. It is an orthodontic appliance that has anchors that are cemented to the molars. The quad helix appliance also has four active springs to serve to widen the arch of the mouth.
A quad helix appliance is used to reduce crowding of teeth and improve bite. The treatment time can vary, but may typically take anywhere from 3 to 6 months.
How does a quad helix expander work?
If you need a quad helix expander, your orthodontist can explain how it works in many different ways so that you ensure that you understand how a quad helix expander works. However, in general the quad helix palatal expander typically serves to gradually widen a narrow jaw over a period of time.
This involves generally correcting any bone size problems and making room for more teeth. The appliance typically separates bones in the roof of the mouth and holds the bones in the altered position while the solid bone continues to develop. This will form the corrected palate and jaw structure.
A quad helix expander is most effective for those whose jaws are not fully developed. A child’s jaw is separated into two parts during development, and these parts fuse together after adolescence.
What is a quad helix used to correct?
Quad helix expanders can be used to treat a variety of common orthodontic problems. However, before deciding that you or your child needs a quad helix appliance, you should speak to your orthodontist who will be able to thoroughly examine your mouth or your child’s mouth to decide if a quad helix expander will be useful child. Here are some of the common orthodontic problems that a quad helix expander can be used to correct.
- Severe crowding – when the jaw does not have adequate space for all the permanent teeth to grow and develop.
- Bite issues – in cases where the jaw grows unevenly, thereby creating upper and lower bite issues.
- Cross bite – when the top teeth fit within the lower teeth.
- Impacted teeth – used to create room for teeth that are stuck or unable to erupt.
- Protruding teeth – typically common among the front teeth, which can be prone to chipping and fractures.
- Breathing difficulties – a narrow or deep upper jaw can make it difficult for a child to breathe through the nose, leading to mouth-breathing and other health issues.
Additionally, a quad helix expander can decrease the need for surgery, even if braces or other orthodontic appliances are necessary. The total treatment time will be shorter and less complicated when combined with a quad helix palatal expander.
How long does it take for a quad helix to work?
It generally takes about three to six months, and it is important that patients follow the guidelines such as maintaining good oral hygiene practices.
Additionally, patients with quad helix expanders are strongly advised to avoid sticky foods like taffy and chewing gum as well as hard foods like pieces of steak or whole apples. These foods can damage the quad helix appliance and prevent it from performing its intended function. Fortunately, quad helix expanders are only worn for a relatively short period of time.
How Much Does A Quad Helix Cost?
If you are getting a quad helix with your braces or Invisalign, the cost of this appliance is usually included in the total cost of your treatment. Speak to your orthodontist to find out more about the cost of your treatment at their clinic.
There are situations where a younger patient may get a quad helix without braces. In this case, the cost of the quad helix will vary depending on the insurance and the orthodontist. Some orthodontist clinics may charge around $500 for treatment with a quad helix expander and some may allow the payment to be spread out with interest-free monthly payments. In some cases, if the patient ends up getting braces, this cost may be applied as a credit towards the cost of their braces treatment.
If you don’t already have a regular orthodontist that you visit, or have a regular pediatric orthodontist, or if you’re looking to potentially change your healthcare provider, feel free to see Ivanov Orthodontic Experts. Visit ivanovortho.com to make a booking or call our office for a consultation with an orthodontist.
Simon LS, Deepika UK, Philip S, et al. Quad helix—A Versatile Appliance in Pedodontist’s Arsenal: A Case Series. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2021;14(S-1):S114–S116.