ABSTRACT

Objective

To evaluate the effects of functional appliance treatment on mandibular trabecular structure using fractal dimension (FD) analysis of dental panoramic radiographs.

Materials and Methods

This study was conducted using digital panoramic radiographs of 45 patients with Class II malocclusion treated with functional appliances (treatment group, mean age: 11.39 ± 0.97 years; 23 girls, 22 boys) acquired before (T0) and after (T1) treatment and the panoramic radiographs of 45 control subjects who had undergone no orthodontic treatment (control group, mean age: 11.31 ± 0.87 years; 23 girls, 22 boys). FD values in the condylar process, mandibular corpus, and mandibular angle were analyzed from the panoramic radiographs of both groups.

Results

Analysis of changes in FD between T0 and T1 revealed significant increases in the FD values of the right and left condylar processes and right mandibular corpus in the treatment group (P < .001) and in the right condylar process in the control group (P < .05). Between-group comparisons demonstrated that the treatment group showed greater changes in the condylar process (right, P < .001; left, P < .05) and right mandibular corpus (P < .05) compared to controls. Correlation analysis between the cephalometric and FD changes in the treatment group showed the right condylar process changes were negatively correlated with GoGn/SN angle (P < .05) and positively correlated with Co-Go (P < .05), although these correlations were weak.

Conclusions

FD analysis demonstrated significant changes in trabeculation of the condyle and mandibular corpus in the treatment group compared to the control group. Functional appliance treatment may lead to skeletal correction by altering skeletal form and trabeculation of the mandibular bone.

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Author notes

a

Assistant Professor, Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Medipol University, Istanbul, Turkey.

b

Associate Professor, Department of Dentomaxillofacial Radiology, Faculty of Dentistry, Abant İzzet Baysal University, Bolu, Turkey.

c

Associate Professor, Turkey Public Hospital Agency, Ministry of Health, Ankara, Turkey.

d

Professor, Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey.

e

Professor, Department of Dentomaxillofacial Radiology, Faculty of Dentistry, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey.