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Dental Press Journal of Orthodontics

Print version ISSN 2176-9451


MELGACO, Camilo Aquino et al. Rapid maxillary expansion effects: An alternative assessment method by means of cone-beam tomography. Dental Press J. Orthod. [online]. 2014, vol.19, n.5, pp.88-96. ISSN 2176-9451.


This study aims to develop a method to assess the changes in palatal and lingual cross-sectional areas in patients submitted to rapid maxillary expansion (RME).


The sample comprised 31 Class I malocclusion individuals submitted to RME and divided into two groups treated with Haas (17 patients) and Hyrax (14 patients) expanders. Cone-beam computed tomography scans were acquired at T0 (before expansion ) and T1 (six months after screw stabilization). Maxillary and mandibular cross-sectional areas were assessed at first permanent molars and first premolars regions and compared at T0 and T1. Mandibular occlusal area was also analyzed.


Maxillary cross-sectional areas increased in 56.18 mm2 and 44.32 mm2 for the posterior and anterior regions. These values were smaller for the mandible, representing augmentation of 40.32 mm2 and 39.91 mm2 for posterior and anterior sections. No differences were found when comparing both expanders. Mandibular occlusal area increased 43.99mm2 and mandibular incisors proclined. Increments of 1.74 mm and 1.7 mm occurred in mandibular intermolar and interpremolar distances. These same distances presented increments of 5.5 mm and 5.57 mm for the maxillary arch.


Occlusal and cross-sectional areas increased significantly after RME. The method described seems to be reliable and precise to assess intraoral area changes.

Keywords : Orthodontics; Malocclusion; Palatal expander.

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