ABSTRACT

Objectives

To observe skeletal width changes after mini-implant–assisted rapid maxillary expansion (MARME) and determine the possible factors that may affect the postexpansion changes using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) in young adults.

Materials and Methods

Thirty-one patients (mean age 22.14 ± 4.76 years) who were treated with MARME over 1 year were enrolled. Four mini-implants were inserted in the midpalatal region, and the number of activations ranged from 40 to 60 turns (0.13 per turn). CBCT was performed before MARME (T0), after activation (T1), and after 1 year of retention (T2). The mean period between T1 and T0 was 6 ± 1.9 months and between T2 and T1 was 13 ± 2.18 months. A paired t-test was performed to compare T0, T1, and T2. The correlations between the postexpansion changes and possible contributing factors were analyzed by Pearson correlation analysis.

Results

The widths increased significantly after T1. After T2, the palatal suture width decreased from 2.50 mm to 0.75 mm. From T1 to T2, decreases recorded among skeletal variables varied from 0.13 mm to 0.41 mm. This decrease accounted for 5.75% of the total expansion (2.26 mm) in nasal width (N-N) and 19.75% at the lateral pterygoid plate. A significant correlation was found between postexpansion change and palatal cortical bone thickness and inclination of the palatal plane (ANS-PNS/SN; P < .05).

Conclusions

Expanded skeletal width was generally stable after MARME. However, some amount of relapse occurred over time. Patients with thicker cortical bone of the palate and/or flatter palatal planes seemed to demonstrate better stability.

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Author notes

a

Lecturer, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University & Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Oral Tissue Regeneration & Shandong Engineering Laboratory for Dental Materials and Oral Tissue Regeneration, Jinan, China.

b

Professor, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University & Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Oral Tissue Regeneration & Shandong Engineering Laboratory for Dental Materials and Oral Tissue Regeneration, Jinan, China.

The first two authors contributed equally to this study.