Işıl Aras, Sultan Ölmez, Mehmet Cemal Akay, Tayfun Günbay, Aynur Aras
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Purpose: The aims of this retrospective study were to evaluate the possible changes in soft tissue facial profile induced by orthopedic rapid maxillary expansion (RME) and surgically assisted rapid maxillary expansion (SARME), and to correlate them with the underlying hard tissue alterations.

Material and Methods: 16 patients who received bone borne SARME and 25 patients who were subjected to RME using metal cast splint hyrax appliance were studied retrospectively. This research was conducted on lateral cephalometric radiographs taken on 2 occasions: before expansion (T1) and at the beginning of any further orthodontic treatment (T2). Investigated lateral cephalometric parameters consisted of Holdaway soft tissue measurements with some supplementary soft tissue, skeletal and dental assessments.

Results:  The acquisition of T2 cephalograms which conforms to the initiation of further orthodontic treatment corresponded to 83.25±3.51 days for SARME and 85.68±4.37 days for RME after the expansion was completed. The only significant change in soft tissue profile of the SARME group was a decrease in upper lip thickness (p<0.05), whereas in the RME group, decrease in soft tissue facial profile angle and increase in H angle were found to be statistically significant. For the RME group, the changes in soft tissue facial profile angle and H angle correlated only with the changes in SNB angle (p<0.05). 

Conclusion: While bone-borne SARME did not seem to poses the potential to alter soft tissue profile, tooth-borne RME caused a more convex soft tissue profile related to a reduction in SNB.


Maxillary expansion; palatal expansion; lateral cephalometry; soft tissue profile; orthodontics

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