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Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2006 Jun;35(6):481-7. Epub 2006 Mar 29.

Dental and skeletal changes following surgically assisted rapid maxillary expansion.

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Orthodontic Graduate Program, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, AB, Canada.


The aim of this study was to evaluate skeletal and dental changes after surgically assisted rapid maxillary expansion (SARME). Clinical trials were carried out that assessed skeletal and dental changes through cephalograms, computer tomographs or dental casts. No other simultaneous treatment during the active expansion period was accepted. Electronic databases (Pubmed, Medline, Medline In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, All Evidence-based Medicine Reviews, Embase, Web of Science and Lilacs) were searched. Abstracts which appeared to fulfil the selection criteria were selected by consensus. The original articles were then retrieved and evaluated with a methodological checklist. Their references were hand searched for possible missing articles. Only 12 articles fulfilled the selection criteria. All presented methodological flaws. An individual methodological analysis of these articles was made. Expansion was greater at the molars and diminished progressively to the anterior part of the dental arch in all the evaluation periods. Vertical and sagittal skeletal changes were nil or not clinically significant. The nasal portion of the maxillary complex showed an increase in dimensions thereby improving nasal patency. An overall dental relapse of 0.5-1 mm is reported after 1 year of orthodontic treatment. The conclusions should be considered with caution because only a secondary level of evidence was found.

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