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Eur J Orthod. 2013 Feb;35(1):29-37. doi: 10.1093/ejo/cjr140. Epub 2011 Dec 9.

Expansion of maxillary arches with crossbite: a systematic review of RCTs in the last 12 years.

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Department of Orthodontics, University of Siena, Italy.


The aim of this study was to review recent randomized clinical trials (RCTs) dealing with the effectiveness of various modalities of orthopaedic/orthodontic expansion of maxillary arches with crossbite and the associated 6 month post retention stability. The study selection criteria included RCTs involving subjects with maxillary deficiency with crossbite, with no limits of age. The authors searched the following electronic databases from 1999 to January 2011: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, LILACS, and WEB of SCIENCE. The search strategy resulted in 12 articles meeting the inclusion criteria. Most of the studies did not meet major methodological requirements; some studies were not relevant because of small sample size, possible bias and unaccounted for confounding variables, lack of blinding in measurements, and deficient statistical methods. Treatment outcomes were different depending on the appliance used, tooth tissue-borne/tooth-borne expanders, bonded semi-rapid maxillary expansion (SRME), or rapid maxillary expansion (RME); in any case, methodological flaws prevent any sound conclusion. Stable results have been measured at the 6 month follow-up after removal of the retention plate in the treated groups in the maxillary intermolar and intercanine distances. Long-term stability results should be assessed. The Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) Statement could be helpful in improving the reporting of RCTs.

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