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Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2011 Apr;139(4 Suppl):S117-28. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2010.06.022.

Periodontal effects of surgically assisted rapid palatal expansion evaluated clinically and with cone-beam computerized tomography: 6-month preliminary results.

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Faculté de médecine dentaire, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.



Transverse maxillary deficiency is frequently observed in patients who seek orthodontic treatment. In skeletally mature patients, transverse maxillary deficiency can be treated with surgically assisted rapid palatal expansion (SARPE). Forces delivered by the expander produce areas of compression in the periodontal ligament, which could lead to alveolar bone resorption and possible changes in the attachment level. The aim of this prospective clinical study was to evaluate the periodontal effects of SARPE by means of a complete clinical evaluation and cone-beam computerized tomography (CBCT) evaluation.


The sample included 14 patients (5 males, 9 females), with a mean age of 23.0 ± 1.9 years (range: 16.4 to 39.7 years). All patients were treated using a bonded Hyrax-type expander, and the mean expansion was 9.82 mm (7.5 to 12.0 mm). All patients had a 1-year retention period. CBCT scans were taken, and periodontal charts were completed at time points T0 (initial) and T1 (6 months after expansion).


SARPE seemed to have little detrimental clinical effects on the periodontium. Radiographic data demonstrated statistically significant changes: a significant decrease in the buccal alveolar bone thickness on most teeth, a significant increase in the palatal alveolar bone thickness on most teeth, a decrease in the buccal alveolar crest level of all canines and posterior teeth, and a tendency toward a decrease in the interproximal alveolar crest level on the mesial aspect of both central incisors.


SARPE seems to have little detrimental effects on the periodontium clinically. However, radiographic data demonstrated some statistically significant changes, which could eventually have a significant clinical impact on the periodontium.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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