To investigate the efficacy of microimplant-assisted rapid palatal expansion (MARPE) to treat skeletal maxillary discrepancies during the post-pubertal growth spurt stage.
Sixty patients with skeletal maxillary transverse deficiency during the post-pubertal growth spurt stage were randomly divided into MARPE and Hyrax groups. Thirty patients (mean age: 15.1 ± 1.6 years) were treated using the four-point MARPE appliance; 30 patients (mean age, 14.8 ± 1.5 years) were treated using the Hyrax expander. Cone beam computed tomography scans and dental casts were obtained before and after expansion. The data were analyzed using paired t-tests and independent t-tests.
The success rates of midpalatal suture separation were 100% and 86.7% for MARPE and Hyrax groups, respectively. Palatal expansion and skeletal to dental ratio at the first molar level were greater in the MARPE group (3.82 mm and 61.4%, respectively) than in the Hyrax group (2.20 mm and 32.3%, respectively) (P < .01). Reductions in buccal alveolar bone height and buccal tipping of the first molars were less in the MARPE group than in the Hyrax group (P < .01).
MARPE enabled more predictable and greater skeletal expansion, as well as less buccal tipping and alveolar height loss on anchorage teeth. Thus, MARPE is a better alternative for patients with skeletal maxillary deficiency during the post-pubertal growth spurt stage.