The majority of rapid maxillary expansion studies have reported the use of appliances with metal bands attached to the posterior teeth. Tooth extrusion, dental tipping, and an increase in the vertical dimension are often encountered, which may not coincide with treatment objectives. Bonded appliances using interocclusal acrylic may control the vertical dimension and expand the maxillary halves in a more bodily and symmetrical fashion. The purpose of this clinical trial was to determine, by radiographic analysis, the differences between a conventional banded expander (Hyrax) and a bonded acrylic expander. Fourteen patients who exhibited a need for expansion were enrolled in the study. The results suggest that the increase in the vertical dimension often seen with the more conventional Hyrax appliance may be minimized or negated with the bonded appliance. However, there appeared to be no significant difference between the amount of dental tipping or symmetrical expansion between the two appliances, as previously theorized.

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