The Quad Helix was introduced in the 60's by Dr Ricketts. It is a palatal expander made with 0.038" Elgiloy blue wire that incorporates in its. design four helicoidal loops. It is an efficient appliance for slight expansions when anterior overcrowding is not the major concern and posterior dento alveolar modifications are seeked, although some studies indicate that this appliance exerts a widening effect in the palatal suture in young patients. Change is slow and not as spectacular as disjunction, but it separates the suture as it allows suture ossification. Slow expansion promotes more post expansion stability, given an adequate retention period.
A slow expansion appliance requires minimal adjustments, but allows easy adjustments when required. The Quad Helix transmits constant and physiologic forces while the expansion is taking place.
The Quad Helix can be fixed (soldered to the molar bands) or removable (inserted in the palatal sheaths of the band
molars). These two models can be bought in many sizes or made in the laboratory over study models of the patient.
The Quad Helix has 4 spiral helicoidal bends, two on the anterior zone, which must descend from the bridge to the
palate, and the other two are located slightly behind the molar band, to allow rotation and molar expansion.