OBJECTIVES: To evaluate whether the amount of rapid maxillary expansion differentially affects the skeletal and dentoalveolar changes that occur. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This randomized controlled trial included 23 patients who had rapid maxillary expansion (RME). Subjects were randomly assigned to a conventional expansion control group (n = 12) or an overexpansion group (n = 11), who started treatment at 13.2 1.5 and 13.8 1 years of age, respectively. Cone beam computed tomography scans (11 cm) were obtained prior to rapid maxillary expander (RME) delivery and approximately 3.7 months later. Initial hand-wrist radiographs were used to determine the participants' skeletal maturity. RESULTS: The RME screws were activated 5.6 1.2 mm and 10.1 0.6 mm in the conventional and overexpansion groups, respectively. Overexpansion produced significantly greater expansion of the nasal cavity (2.1X-2.5X), maxillary base (2.3X), buccal alveolar crest (1.4X), and greater palatine foramina (1.9X). Significantly greater intermolar width increases (1.8X) and molar inclination (2.8X) changes were also produced. The nasal cavity and maxillary base expanded 23%-32% as much as the screws were activated. Skeletal expansion was positively correlated with RME screw activation (R = 0.61 to 0.70) and negatively correlated (R = -0.56 to -0.64) with the patients' skeletal maturation indicators (SMIs). Together, screw activation and the patients' SMI scores explained 48%-66% of the variation in skeletal expansion. CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study shows that overexpansion produces greater changes than conventional expansion, with greater skeletal effects among less mature patients.
- Palatal Expansion Technique
- Cone-beam Computed Tomography
- Pilot Projects