Transpalatal Arch

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Posts: 126
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:47 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Transpalatal Arch

#1 Post by jjjmac »

After starting this pursuit back in JUNE, I finally have dates to get started. (That's the downside of getting braces through the dental school, I guess - it takes forever to get going). I had been hoping to get this started before my 30th birthday, but alas, while ALL my friends are having babies (or 2nd or 3rd babies) and buying houses this year - the biggest thing I have to look forward to is braces. :( Yeah, I'm grateful I'm able to do it for myself now and I know I'll be glad when it's done.... but it's also really making me hate my parents right now (anyone else have that problem?) and just getting me down - esp. now that I know my rough treatment plan.

Oct. 2 - I get spacers put in. I've already read what a joy this will be! But it's only for a week...I'll deal with it.

Oct. 9 - I get bands put on. Besides the actually putting on of them, which might be difficult, I don't see that this will be much of a problem?

Oct. 16 - I get brackets put on. Apparently my braces are going on in sections, with (luckily?) the sides going on first and the front most likely going on months down the road. I figure this is a good thing because it kind of gives me time to adjust to the braces before anyone can really see them to well. I'll also be getting 4 extractions done shortly after getting the brackets put on.

What has me completely freaked out is something I didn't even know existed - the Transpalatal Arch, which will apparently be going on/in the same day as the brackets and will be there for months, maybe a year? (and of course, maybe longer because you never know how your teeth are going to move).

I've looked at pictures and read a few things...none of which have made me feel ANY better. I work with the public, so I don't just have to worry about the (60) people in my department hearing me lisp - but the whole frigging public too. I tell myself that if I practice enough, maybe I can speak mostly normally?

Mostly, I'm worried about - how the heck can you eat anything that isn't a complete soft food? Really, it seems impossible - or at least completely not worth the effort? I really don't see how my tongue is going to get used to sitting on the bottom of my mouth instead of the top either - but I guess you can get used to anything. Is the groove it puts in your tongue permanent?

Has anyone had one of these? Is there anything positive to it - does it get better at all? Is there anything you can do to make it easier to live with? Help!

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Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:12 pm

#2 Post by Lisa65 »

I've had a Nance appliance, which is a transpalatal arch with an added acrylic button which sits against the roof of my mouth, for almost the whole 2 years I've been braced.

It's a bit of a nuisance to begin with. For 2 or 3 days I felt like I was going to choke when I ate, my mouth was full of spit, my tongue was sore and I had a lisp. But after that I didn't really notice it. It's surprising how quickly you adjust. It doesn't interfere with speaking or eating, and I put my tongue up in the top of my mouth just like I always have. I don't have grooves in my tongue either.

Your tongue might feel sore for a few days. Rinsing your mouth out with warm salt water is soothing, and you might find something like Bonjela (or some other OTC local anaesthetic preparation) useful to put on the sore patches before you eat. But after a few days your tongue toughens up and after a week or so you'll probably hardly notice it's there.

Posts: 126
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:47 pm
Location: Portland, OR

don't think I get a nance

#3 Post by jjjmac »

Thanks for the reply. That makes me feel a little better, but I'm pretty sure I'm just getting the bare basics, not a Nance that will sit on the roof of my mouth. :( That's the other bad thing about going through the dental school - it's all basic gear... only regular metal braces, no clear or ceramic bracket choice, no lingual braces choice... and apparently no arch choice. :(

My next appt. isn't until the one on Oct. 2nd, so I'll ask again just to be sure., but from what she said, the nance isn't what I'm getting. :-/

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#4 Post by jaswi »

I think you misunderstood lisa.. A nance is used for a different reason than a TPA. There is less to a TPA, really shouldn't cause any issues.

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Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:12 pm

#5 Post by Lisa65 »

I wasn't talking about function no. As jaswi says, they have slightly different purposes. A TPA is usually to prevent the arch from collapsing by preventing inward tipping of the molars. It can also be used to rotate molars. A nance also fulfils these functions, but additionally will hold molars in position to stop them drifting forwards into extraction gaps. But the metal part of both appliances is the same, and will take the same amount of getting used to.

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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

#6 Post by danish »

Hi jjjmac,

I wouldn't worry about the TPA. It may sound strange but after a short time you get use to it. Food does tend to get stuck but you notice this more in the beginning of the treatment. After some time you don't even bother to get annoyed.

Regarding the speaking abilities with such a device in your mouth you are not going to lisp. However, there will be some words in the beginning which you will notice causes some problems. I remember clearly that I was unable to say "Julia" clearly the first weeks after having the TPA fitted in my mouth. .

But after a short time your tongue will adapt to the TPA and nobody will notice anything.

I also work with close customer contact and was worried about lisping etc. But in short.. the TPA is the least of your worries :)


PS: Btw I just got rid of my TPA. And again my tongue had to re-adapt to the change. This time I choked over the word "step throat"! Haha. But as I write this I can say it clearly like in pre-brace life. :lol:
metal braces on: 4 Oct 2007
Tx for: crowding
debonded on: 24 Jun 2009

total treatment time: 629 days

my journey ==> ... highlight=

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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:14 pm
Location: *Northern Kentucky*

#7 Post by Naduah82 »

What you said about hating your parents...I felt the EXACT same way for years! I wanted braces for sooo long, I was supposed to get them for sure when I was 17 but my mom changed her mind at the last minute. (After they scheduled a appointment with a orthodontic surgeon to get my wisdom teeth removed so I could get braces put on.) It may seem like your process is taking FOREVER but 2 years will fly by! Good luck on your braces journey. :)

Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:18 pm

#8 Post by Ashley »

I have a TPA! It's really not that big of a deal now, but when I first got it put it I thought the orthodontist was joking. He put it in, and I thought it was just to help him while he changed my wire, little did I know he would be leaving it in there. "Are you serious? Seriously?" I proclaimed, sitting up in disbelief. It made such an impression on my tounge the first few weeks, it hurt to talk, eat, or do anything. When I would brush my teeth and go to spit, it was really difficult. You have to reteach your mouth how to do everything. I felt like I was choking on my words let alone food. Not to mention the TPA shaped blister thing on my tounge!

Now over a year later, I still have my TPA and I hardly even remember it's there until I see TPA somewhere on the forum and I'm like HEY I have one of those!:) My tounge rests on the roof of my mouth just like it used to *kinda*. I think my tounge pretends the TPA *is* the roof of my mouth. Food just knows how not to go between the tpa and the roof of my mouth, and my words are crystal clear. I don't even remember what not having one feels like... and as far as the impression on my tounge goes, it's not even there anymore. I used to show people and one day it just wasn't there.

I think you'll be fine :D

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