Palatal Expansion (MARPE)

Dr. Lena Sapozhnikoff skillfully and artfully performs airway transformations for patients with sleep apnea, TMJ, chronic sinus issues and more at Tribeca Dental Studio. If you’re looking for a sleep apnea treatment in NYC, Dr. Lena can help you determine if palatal expansion, or MARPE, is right for your situation. Our MARPE treatments relieve patients of other issues too. If you need a TMJ treatment in NYC, MARPE may be the solution. Read on to learn more about MARPE in NYC and how it could help you.

sinus congestion treatment

If you’re in NYC and experience sleep apnea, sinus issues, or TMJ symptoms, our airway specialist Dr. Lena Sapozhnikoff may have solutions for you. A narrow maxilla, or upper jaw, may be to blame. There could be a permanent or long-lasting alternative to using a CPAP machine each night, losing sleep, experiencing chronic headaches, and never shaking that neck and shoulder tension. Miniscrew-assisted rapid palatal expansion, or MARPE, expands patients’ palates to create space for teeth and literally help them breathe easier.

A narrow palate can cause patients a number of everyday problems, including:

  • Sleep disordered breathing and all of its comorbidities
  • Other airway problems like chronic congestion
  • Crowded or misaligned teeth
  • Chewing dysfunction

What is MARPE?

Miniscrew-assisted rapid palatal expansion (MARPE) is an effective non-surgical and non-extraction treatment approach for expanding the upper jaw. A narrow maxilla is associated with nasal obstruction, crowded teeth, and hindered facial development. For many patients, MARPE represents a definitive sleep apnea treatment or TMJ treatment in NYC. There are a variety of reasons MARPE may be indicated, but sleep apnea and TMJ disorders are among the most common.

Conventional maxillary expander treatments are common for treating narrow maxilla. However, these are limited to children because the suture holding the maxillary bone together (known as the midpalatal suture) fuses around 12–15 years of age.

MARPE, on the other hand, is innovative because it makes palatal expansion available to adults by directly connecting the expander to the palatal bone. Dr. Lena specializes in a type of MARPE called MSE, which creates a parallel expansion rather than the typical V-shaped expansion that other MARPE methods offer. MSE and other MARPE treatments have helped many of her patients live more carefree lives.

How Does MARPE Work?

MARPE works by expanding the maxillary bone, thereby increasing the volume of the nasal cavity and oral cavity. This decreases nasal resistance and gives the tongue more room to sit upward and forward in the mouth, making the airway larger.

The process goes as follows:

  1. You and Dr. Lena will have a consultation, where you’ll discuss with her your symptoms (if any), needs, and goals. 
  2. She’ll give her best recommendation for treatment, and you’ll set an appointment to begin your MARPE journey.
  3. On the day of your appointment, Dr. Lena will place a small piece of hardware similar to a retainer on the roof of your mouth. She fixes it to the palate with micro-screws (and proper pain management, of course).
  4. You will return home with a key that you’ll connect to the MARPE hardware and turn at regular intervals.
  5. This slowly creates outward pressure on your palate and expands it. Eventually, you’ll hear a pop when the two halves of the palate separate. No worries! That means it’s working.
  6. Once you’ve done the prescribed amount of key turning, you’ll passively wear the MARPE hardware for a few months until the bone regenerates and heals in its new, more spacious shape.
  7. The next step is braces or Invisalign® to move your teeth into their ideal positions.

Now you get to enjoy your smile as it was meant to be, along with easier breathing and plenty of room for your tongue. (Really, until you experience the latter, you can’t imagine what a relief it is for your tongue to have ample space in your mouth!)

What Does MARPE Do?

MARPE offers the following benefits to patients with narrow maxillae:

  • Expands the palate
  • Increases nasal volume and improves breathing
  • Improves facial aesthetics
  • Creates room for the tongue
  • Reduces or eliminates crowding of teeth
  • Helps patients avoid surgery
  • Reduces the need for sleep appliances or CPAP

Find Out if You’re a Candidate for MARPE in NYC

To learn more about MARPE and to find out if palatal expansion is for you, book your appointment at  Tribeca Dental Studio in Lower Manhattan today. We may be able to help you put an end to sleep disordered breathing, chronic congestion, teeth crowding, or TMJ symptoms.


Call or Text 929-209-5343

54 Warren St., New York, NY 10007
MONDAY: 9-6 pm
TUE / THU / FRI: 8-5pm