Accessibility Tool


The Stormberg Orthodontic team works with all orthodontic methods and technologies to create beautiful, straight smiles. We provide a number of different types of braces and Invisalign to all ages. Depending on the orthodontic treatment plan, we may suggest using an early orthodontic appliance to correct a problem prior to braces. For example, when a patient’s teeth need more space, we may use a Pendex. The Pendex is the perfect orthodontic appliance for patients who have a small jaw or their teeth are just too close together. It is used to move teeth backward and make room for incoming teeth and possibly to widen the upper jaw.


What Is A Pendex? 

A Pendex is a fixed orthodontic appliance that is used to expand the jaw. The metal appliance is put in place by your San Diego orthodontist in order to create more space in the mouth and amongst the teeth. It is comprised of an expansion screw and springs which are attached to the necessary teeth. Over time, the Pendex will allow for the correction of the upper jaw and in turn, proper teeth alignment. A Pendex is typically used to manage orthodontic problems like insufficient space in the mouth, teeth crowding, and upper teeth flaring. 


How Does A Pendex Work?

The palate expander consists of a key and a hole in the center of the Pendex. The patient, or the parent, will put the key in the key-hole and gently push it towards the back of the patient’s mouth to turn the expander. A turn is completed when the key cannot be pushed back any further. One turn should be completed every day in order to expand the jaw according to the patient’s treatment plan. 


Pendex Instructions & Rules To Follow

Once you have your Pendex in place, you may feel some initial discomfort with the new orthodontic appliance. At Stormberg Orthodontics, we recommend sticking to the following suggests and you’ll be just fine. 


We need more space:

The Pendex is used to make room for incoming teeth and possibly to widen the upper jaw.


You will adjust to your Pendex:

In the beginning, swallowing and speaking may be a challenge but with a few days of practice, i.e. reading out loud, eating softer foods, the patient will adjust to the Pendex.


Some soreness means it is working:

When your Pendex is put in place and after every turn, you may feel some discomfort or soreness, this is completely normal, it means your orthodontic appliance is working. To relieve any persistent pain, you can take an over the counter medication, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, as prescribed on the bottle. 


You hold the key:

The expander is activated by placing the key into the hole in the center of the expander, gently pushing the key towards the back of the mouth. A turn is complete when you cannot push the key any further backward and you can see a new hole appear. Remove the key carefully towards the throat and you have completed one turn. Make only ONE turn a day and only as many turns as the doctor has prescribed. If an unusual amount of discomfort is felt, over the counter medication can be given and if the patient is still in discomfort, you can skip a day and try again the next day. The important information is to let the doctor know how many actual turns were completed. 


Space between the front teeth:

It is completely normal for a small space to develop between the front teeth. Once you have finished your turns, this space will begin to close. The bone has widened, but the tooth muscle fibers surrounding the teeth will close the teeth together.


After the Expander & length of time:

The expander is usually turned for 2-4 weeks and then the Pendex is activated after the width is obtained. The Pendex is usually in place for up to six months. Once stabilized, a smaller appliance to hold the width and new tooth position is placed, along with the remaining braces for the duration of treatment.

If you have questions or concerns about the Pendex and your orthodontic treatment plan, please consult our San Diego orthodontic team. 


Call Stormberg Orthodontics For Braces In San Diego Today!

For quality orthodontic care at a reasonable price, contact Stormberg Orthodontics, serving the entire San Diego area. We’ve got the latest orthodontic appliances and braces to straighten your teeth efficiently and effectively with beautiful results. Schedule your next appointment online or call our San Diego office directly. We look forward to giving you a straight, beautiful smile for life! 



Stormberg Orthodontics

  • Stormberg Orthodontics - 4333 Palm Ave., Suite C, La Mesa, CA 91941 Phone: 619-462-4462 Fax: 619-462-8267

2023 © All Rights Reserved | Website Design By: Intrado | Login

ABO logoAAO logoInvisalign Diamond Provider BadgeInvisalign Teen logoiTero logo