Long-term effect on adenoid dimensions and craniocervical angulation after maxillary expansion with fixed or functional appliances

J Clin Exp Dent. 2021 Jun 1;13(6):e594-e600. doi: 10.4317/jced.58171. eCollection 2021 Jun.


Background: Maxillary expansion is a common orthodontic procedure that could have a positive effect also on airway patency. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the long-term effects of rapid maxillary expansion (RME) on nasopharyngeal area and cranio-cervical angulation in growing patients, compared to controls treated with a function-generating bite appliance (FGB).

Material and methods: Sixty patients aged 6-14 consecutively treated with RME or FGB were selected retrospectively and divided into two groups. Lateral cephalograms taken before and after treatment were retrieved, and the nasopharyngeal area, delimited superiorly by a sella-posterior nasal spine (PNS) line and inferiorly by a basion-PNS line, and the cranio-cervical angulation were measured.

Results: The mean observation time was 17.6 ± 8 months. No differences were present between the two groups regarding age and gender. The nasopharyngeal area increased significantly in both groups after treatment, but with no statistically significant difference between them. The cranio-cervical angulation showed no differences within or between groups.

Conclusions: Maxillary deficiency treatment with either RME or FGB was followed by a comparable increase in nasopharyngeal area. Key words:Rapid maxillary expansion, Airway, Nasopharyngeal area, Adenoid.