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Imaging Sci Dent. 2013 Jun;43(2):85-90. English. Original Article.
Akyalcin S , Schaefer JS , English JD , Stephens CR , Winkelmann S .
Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.
Todd Hughes Orthodontics, Houston, TX, USA.

PURPOSE: This study was performed to determine the buccal alveolar bone thickness following rapid maxillary expansion (RME) using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-four individuals (15 females, 9 males; 13.9 years) that underwent RME therapy were included. Each patient had CBCT images available before (T1), after (T2), and 2 to 3 years after (T3) maxillary expansion therapy. Coronal multiplanar reconstruction images were used to measure the linear transverse dimensions, inclinations of teeth, and thickness of the buccal alveolar bone. One-way ANOVA analysis was used to compare the changes between the three times of imaging. Pairwise comparisons were made with the Bonferroni method. The level of significance was established at p<0.05. RESULTS: The mean changes between the points in time yielded significant differences for both molar and premolar transverse measurements between T1 and T2 (p<0.05) and between T1 and T3 (p<0.05). When evaluating the effect of maxillary expansion on the amount of buccal alveolar bone, a decrease between T1 and T2 and an increase between T2 and T3 were found in the buccal bone thickness of both the maxillary first premolars and maxillary first molars. However, these changes were not significant. Similar changes were observed for the angular measurements. CONCLUSION: RME resulted in non-significant reduction of buccal bone between T1 and T2. These changes were reversible in the long-term with no evident deleterious effects on the alveolar buccal bone.

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