Journal Article

Dental arch changes following rapid maxillary expansion

Sabrina Mutinelli, Mauro Cozzani, Mario Manfredi, Marco Bee and Giuseppe Siciliani

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 30, issue 5, pages 469-476
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online September 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
Dental arch changes following rapid maxillary expansion

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The purpose of this research was to evaluate changes in upper arch dimension and form following rapid maxillary expansion (RME) using a modified Haas appliance in the primary dentition. The sample comprised 49 children [17 males, 32 females, mean age 7 years 5 months, standard deviation (SD) 1 year 1 month] with a crossbite or maxillary crowding. Twenty patients had a normal SN–GoGn angle (7 males, 13 females, mean 33.25 degrees, SD 2.10), three were low angle (1 male, 2 females, mean 27.67 degrees, SD 2.31), and 22 were high angle (8 males, 14 females, mean 39.95 degrees, SD 3.15). The vertical dimensions of four patients could not be measured, due to the unavailability of radiographs. Expansion was undertaken to either correct a crossbite or treat maxillary crowding. The upper dental casts were analysed using a computerized system: before treatment (T1), at appliance removal (T2), and 2 years 4 months after appliance removal (T3).

Using bootstrap statistical analysis applied to distance ratio values [Euclidean distance matrix analysis (EDMA)], it was found that 48 patients showed a change in arch form. In 40.82 per cent (n = 20, group A), the arch form changed from T1 to T2, T1 to T3, and T2 to T3. In 32.65 per cent (n = 16, group B), it varied from T1 to T2 but relapsed at T3 to the form of T1. For 24.5 per cent (n = 12, group C), it changed from T1 to T2 but maintained the same form at T3. The favourable characteristics for obtaining expansion, identified by logistic regression analysis, were being male, of an immature stage of dental development (lateral incisor not fully erupted) and the presence of a lateral crossbite. Intercanine and intermolar widths, arch length, and the distance between the interincisive point and the line joining the canines (depth of the intercanine arch) at the different time points were analysed using a two-tailed t-test (P < 0.05). For the whole group, the increase in intercanine and intermolar width and in the depth of the intercanine arch was significant. Comparison between groups A, B, and C was undertaken using an analysis of variance, but there was no significant difference between the groups.

This modified type of Haas appliance was able to increase the transverse dimension of the maxillary dental arch in the mixed dentition. The most appropriate timing for treatment appears to be before the eruption of the permanent lateral incisors.

Journal Article.  4516 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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