FAQ

  1. Why do I need a Lab Kit?
    1. The fabrication of the VECS is no different than the fabrication of a traditional RPE in terms of bending the mounting arms and soldering. There is however, a different approach to insure that the VECS activation head is mounted at an appropriate angle in relation to the front teeth. The lab kit includes 2 jigs that should be used to achieve this angle. The lab kit also includes a custom bending tool that is universal to all RPE's. The current bending tool will not work with the VECS. There is a rubber O-ring on the VECS that should not be exposed to the heat during the soldering process. The Lab Kit contains 10 replacement O-rings in case the O-ring has been affected by heat.
  2. How thick are the bending arms?
    1. The bending arms are no thicker than a traditional RPE and are bent with the same amount of ease. They are 1.4mm thick.
  3. How do you clean the device after the fabrication?
    1. The VECS palate expander may be cleaned with a surface disinfectant or autoclaved prior to clinical insertion. Never submerge the VECS into any cleaning toxic agent. Traces of the solution may enter the center body of the device and later effect the patient.
  4. What is the function of the rubber "O" ring?
    1. The function of the "O" ring is to create an "organic" tension to the activation screw head so the patient does not turn the head with their tongue. If this "O" ring is hit with the soldering gun during fabrication, it may be compromised and should be replaced.
  5. I have expanded the expansion plates during fabrication and now the plates will not contract, why is this?
    1. If you expand the plates prior to the fabrication of the mounting arms for a better grip on the device, this is fine. However, you must make sure that the gear threads are free from all debri, including cleaning agents, prior to the contraction of the plates. Debri in the threads of the gear system will prevent the plates from collapsing back to the 0mm position.

  1. What is the expansion rate of the VECS palate expander?
    1. 0.2mm per one 360 degree rotation
  2. Which way do I turn the key to activate?
    1. The key is designed with a target symbol on 1 side and blank on the other. By pushing on the side of the key with the target symbol, this ensures the device is being activated the proper direction.
  3. Can the patient activate the VECS palate expander?
    1. Yes
  4. The expander looks as if it is not opening evenly, why is that?
    1. The right and left expansion plates extend in a symmetrical fashion, however the center body may slightly move side to side giving the false impression that one side is expanding greater than the other.
  5. Will the VECS creep-back on itself after activation?
    1. It is virtually impossible for the VECS to creep back on itself after activation. The gear inside the housing is a worm-gear, similar to the concept of the axle of a car. The pressure is not great enough to creep back on this device.
  6. The key is not engaging into the activation head. Why is this?
    1. It is possible for food to get lodged into the activation head. A toothpick is a good tool to clean out the activation head.
  7. Does the VECS come with an activation key?
    1. Yes, each VECS includes 1 blue handled activation key.
  8. What is the function of the rubber "O" ring?
    1. The function of the "O" ring is to create an "organic" tension to the activation screw head so the patient does not turn the head with their tongue. If this "O" ring is hit with the soldering gun during fabrication, it may be compromised and should be replaced.

 

  1. How do I activate the expander?
    1. Insert the blue handled key into the activation screw head and try to have the butt-end of the blue handle pointed up towards the patients nose. (This is called the 12 o’clock position and is a good starting point.) From the operator’s perspective (not the patient), the key is turned in a clockwise direction to initiate the expansion. There are 2 sides on the key, one has a target and the other side does not. Make sure you are pushing on the target to insure the key is being turned the proper direction. Turn the key (like a car key) until the butt-end reaches the 12 o’clock position again. This is 1 full activation.
  2. Will activating the VECS expander be painful?
    1. The patient can expect pressure sensations at the cheek bones and possibly between the eyes while activating. This pressure will go away within minutes.
  3. Will my speech be affected?
    1. Speech may be affected, but reading out loud for the first week or so will help to adapt speech back to normal.
  4. Why is there a large gap between my front teeth?
    1. The large gap in between the front teeth is a sign that the process is working and the patient is getting a nice palatal split.
  5. The key is not engaging into the activation head. Why is this?
    1. It is possible for food to get lodged into the activation head. A toothpick is a good tool to clean out the activation head.