Trans-Palatal Arch

What is a Trans-palatal Arch (TPA)?

A Trans-palatal Arch is a metal bar that fits comfortably across the palate. On each side, it is attached with metal bands around each of the two upper molar teeth. It is cemented in place and cannot be removed by the patient.

Why is the Trans-palatal Arch needed?

The Trans-palatal Arch can be used either before or during braces. The arch can be used to slow down the growth of the upper back molar teeth, and maintain space for new upper teeth as they come in.

This is very helpful in cases where there is an open bite (when the upper and lower front teeth don’t touch one another), or excess vertical growth of the upper teeth is a problem. The Trans-palatal Arch is also used as a space maintainer before braces, and can help in the prevention of impacted upper eye teeth.

What can be expected?

You will experience very mild discomfort for the first day after the Trans-palatal Arch has been placed. If necessary, take Advil or Tylenol as needed. After the first day or two, the appliance becomes very comfortable. You may even forget that it’s there!


Some extra time and effort will be needed to keep the appliance clean. Thorough instructions and special brushes will be provided for you on the day the appliance is placed.

Helpful Hints

Avoid gum and other sticky, chewy candies, which can loosen the appliance and entail longer treatment and extra visits to the office. The Trans-palatal Arch is usually worn for 12 to 24 months.

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