Effects of monocortical and bicortical mini-implant anchorage on bone-borne palatal expansion using finite element analysis

Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2017 May;151(5):887-897. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2016.10.025.


Introduction: Bone-borne palatal expansion relies on mini-implant stability for successful orthopedic expansion. The large magnitude of applied force experienced by mini-implants during bone-borne expansion may lead to high failure rates. Use of bicortical mini-implant anchorage rather than monocortical anchorage may improve mini-implant stability. The aims of this study were to analyze and compare the effects of bicortical and monocortical anchorages on stress distribution and displacement during bone-borne palatal expansion using finite element analysis.

Methods: Two skull models were constructed to represent expansion before and after midpalatal suture opening. Three clinical situations with varying mini-implant insertion depths were studied in each skull model: monocortical, 1-mm bicortical, and 2.5-mm bicortical. Finite element analysis simulations were performed for each clinical situation in both skull models. Von Mises stress distribution and transverse displacement were evaluated for all models.

Results: Peri-implant stress was greater in the monocortical anchorage model compared with both bicortical anchorage models. In addition, transverse displacement was greater and more parallel in the coronal plane for both bicortical models compared with the monocortical model. Minimal differences were observed between the 1-mm and the 2.5-mm bicortical models for both peri-implant stress and transverse displacement.

Conclusions: Bicortical mini-implant anchorage results in improved mini-implant stability, decreased mini-implant deformation and fracture, more parallel expansion in the coronal plane, and increased expansion during bone-borne palatal expansion. However, the depth of bicortical mini-implant anchorage was not significant.

MeSH terms

  • Cone-Beam Computed Tomography
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Humans
  • Maxilla / anatomy & histology
  • Maxilla / diagnostic imaging
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Orthodontic Anchorage Procedures / methods*
  • Palatal Expansion Technique*
  • Palate / anatomy & histology
  • Palate / diagnostic imaging
  • Skull / anatomy & histology
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging