Broken molar from rapid palatal expander??

My 8 year old had a rapid palatal expander was cemented in almost 3 weeks ago. We were told to turn once daily, for 3 weeks. Her follow up is in 3 days; however I am extremely alarmed - when brushing her teeth tonight, it appears the back upper molar, left side, where the band is fixed - the tooth has been broken?! The molar also appears to be flared outward toward her cheek, more so than the rest of her teeth. I understand your advice will be to call the Ortho ASAP, which we did immediately. However it appears the office does not have an on call service so it looks as though we’ll be waiting til Monday morning for a response. My concern is, is this common or a rare issue? She has never had any teeth “issues”, never a cavity, and is in good health. Any info you can offer would be helpful, thank you for your time.

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Answer: Rapid palatal expander

By Sarah h
Dental Professional

It is not common for a palatal expander to fracture a molar, especially one that is the anchor tooth.  Orthodontists' will usually refrain from bonding bands or fixed appliances onto teeth with active caries. Therefore, I am hoping that the tooth is not broken and just appears differently with the expander in place.  If the tooth was broken, more than likely your daughter would be experiencing dental pain and the expander would become dislodged or loose.  If none of these have occured, it is probably not fractured.  Upper molars sometimes appear as if they are angled toward the cheek, expanding the palate will create more space for alignment in the future.

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