When attempting rapid maxillary expansion in an adult patient, the resistance to expansion is substantially increased. With the advent of mini-implants, a minimally invasive expansion has been introduced in older teenagers and adults (MARPE). The Quadexpander is a purely bone-borne mini-implant supported maxillary expansion appliance. This eliminates the risk of the anchorage teeth being damaged in case of undetected mini-implant failure. Due to the very thin cortical bone support in the paramedian areas of the posterior palate this insertion area was dismissed. Even though this is an area where MSE [4
] screws are placed, the MSE appliance shares the load of expansion with the posterior teeth and it is difficult to estimate the real contribution of the posterior mini-implants in actual load bearing and how much of that load is transmitted to the molars. The Quadexpander eliminates this risk by being purely bone-borne. Success of all
the mini-implants is crucial when the expander is purely implant-borne as not only will the mini-implants bear the load during the expansion phase but also during the retention period which is likely to be several months for an adult. As a consequence, to avoid any risk of root proximity or injury, insertion guides are proposed for the TAD placement. Insertion guides are now widely used in the placement of prosthetic dental implants [26
]. Static computer aided guided surgery (s-CAIS), static implant guides are the most commonly used type [23
]. The clinician can gain insight into the placement site, bone quality as well as any anatomical variations. This pre-operative planning allows the clinician to have some peace of mind during the procedure and he or she can focus more on tissue handling and patient management. Most of the guides used in prosthodontic implants use specifically designed implant placement kits [24
], which couple precisely with the drill and placement guides the equivalent of which was not available with orthodontic mini-implant kits. In fact, to date such guides have not been widely used with orthodontic mini-implant placement although there have been several attempts using prebent wire guides in combination with conventional mini-implant placement tools, which do not provide a great degree of precision. The Easy Driver system, however, provides a specifically designed mini-implant placement kit designed to fit the placement guides with very little tolerance, akin to those used with dental implants to allow precise insertion of the mini-implants into the planned position. By preplanning the position of the implant placement, the area with the best bone can be selected. In addition, using the CBCT as a guide, allows for the use of an implant that not only engages the palatal cortical plate but also the floor of the nose allowing for bicortical engagement, further increasing the primary stability [16
] and success of the TADs. Furthermore, the use of a precise placement guide could allow for safe insertion of TADs in the presence of palatally impacted canines or unerupted teeth discovered in late teen or young adults. Studies have also shown that proximity of TADs to tooth roots can predispose TAD failure [15
]. The diameter of the TAD can then be varied as well. Several types of expanders have been proposed in the literature using TADs. The described 4‑screw expander (Quadexpander) permits safe and easy insertion of the TADs even by orthodontists without much experience in mini-implant insertion. The mini-implant and expander insertion can be done in one clinical session saving significant chair time. Compared to the MSE [4
] appliances employment of insertion guides allows high flexibility in the placement of the TADs to ensure all four mini-implants are placed in the best quality bone as opposed being restricted by the fact the screws with MSE must follow the outline of the prefabricated expansion screw which may place one or more screws in an area with lesser bone quality.
The Quadexpander can be used in adolescents and adults, as well as in patients with missing teeth. Since teeth are not needed as anchorage units, this approach might be interesting especially for patients with periodontically compromised teeth, e.g. buccal recessions. Furthermore, it is possible to use the 4‑screw expander in conjunction with a surgically assisted RME especially in periodontally compromised patients, or if the expansion does not progress in older adults by performing a minimally invasive bilateral corticotomy. The fact that the appliance does not include any teeth means that tooth movement can be started independent of the expansion and the retention period required. This seems to be especially relevant if aligners should be used in the second phase of the orthodontic treatment [34
]. A further advantage could be in cases where the orthodontist is not willing to place the TADs and the patient is referred to an oral surgeon. By providing the placement guides the orthodontist can be confident that the TADs will be in the desired locations.