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Prog Orthod. 2017 Dec;18(1):3. doi: 10.1186/s40510-016-0157-6. Epub 2017 Jan 16.

Comparison and evaluation of stresses generated by rapid maxillary expansion and the implant-supported rapid maxillary expansion on the craniofacial structures using finite element method of stress analysis.

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Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Darshan Dental College and Hospital, Loyara, Udaipur, India.
Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopeadics, Hitkarini Dental College and Hospital, Jabalpur, MP, India.
Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Goenka institute of dental sciences, Ahmedabad, India.



The study aimed to evaluate and compare the stress distribution and 3-dimensional displacements along the craniofacial sutures in between the Rapid maxillary Expansion (RME) and Implant supported RME (I-RME). METHOD´╗┐S: Finite element model of the skull and the implants were created using ANSYS software. The finite element model thus built composed of 537692 elements and 115694 nodes in RME model & 543078 elements and 117948 nodes with implants model. The forces were applied on the palatal surface of the posterior teeth to cause 5mm of transverse displacement on either side of the palatal halves, making it a total of 10mm. The stresses and the displacement values were obtained and interpreted.


Varying pattern of stress and the displacements with both positive and negative values were seen. The maximum displacement was seen in the case of plain RME model and that too at Pterygomaxillary suture and Mid-palatal suture in descending order. In the case of I-RME maximum displacement was seen at Zygomaticomaxillary suture followed by Pterygomaxillary suture. The displacements produced in all the three planes of space for the plain RME model were greater in comparison to the Implant Supported RME model. And the stresses remained high for all the sutures in case of an I-RME.


There is a definite difference in the stress and the displacement pattern produced by RME and I-RME model and each can be used according to the need of the patient. The stresses generated in case of conventional RME were considerably less than that of the I-RME for all the sutures.


Displacement; Finite element method; Implant-supported rapid maxillary expansion; Rapid maxillary expansion; Stress

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