Background: Orthopedic rapid maxillary expansion (RME) is a common treatment of choice for managing transverse deficiency of the maxilla. This approach may have desired and undesired skeletal, dental and periodontal effects that may be assessed clinically or through imaging techniques. This study aims to investigate the dental, skeletal and periodontal effects of orthopedic RME using the soft-tissue cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) technique.
Material and methods: The sample consisted of 10 patients (5males and 5 females) aged between 10 and 14 years (mean age: 12.5 years) treated with Hyrax orthopedic device. CBCT scans set for the registration of soft tissue (ST-CBCT) were taken from each patient before (T1) and 120 days after (T2) RME. Skeletal (n=10), dental (n=1) and periodontal (n=4) parameters measured in ST-CBCT were compared between T1 and T2 using t-test within a significance level of 5%.
Results: The skeletal parameters with statistically significant increase (p < 0.05) in T2 were the width of the buccal alveolar bone crest, the external width of the dental arch at the level of buccal cusps, and the width of the dental arch at the level of most prominent dental surface contour. Representing the dental parameter, the inclination of the anchor teeth was statistically significant for premolars (p < 0.05). The only statistically significant outcome in periodontal parameters was the decrease in buccal bone plate thickness of first molars (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Dentists must be aware of the ST-CBCT technique for the analysis of hard and soft tissue after orthodontic and orthopedic treatments. This technique revealed that the RME reached optimal skeletal and dental effects with minimal periodontal side effects.
- Cone-beam computed tomography