Three-dimensional assessment of palatal change in a controlled study of unilateral posterior crossbite correction in the primary dentition

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The aim of this study was to quantify the palatal change in three groups of children: children with a unilateral posterior crossbite (TCB) who were treated, children with untreated unilateral posterior crossbite (UCB), and children without a crossbite (NCB). Study casts of 60 Caucasian children in the primary dentition (20 TCB, 20 UCB, and 20 NCB), aged 5.4 ± 0.7 years, were collected at baseline (T1) and at 1-year follow-up (T2). Both TCB and UCB groups had unilateral posterior crossbite and midline deviation. The TCB group was treated using a cemented acrylic splint expander in the upper arch. The study casts were scanned using a laser scanner and palatal surface area, palatal volume, and symmetry of the palatal vault were evaluated and compared between the three groups. At T1, the palatal volume of TCB (2698 mm3) and UCB (2585 mm3) was significantly smaller than that of NCB (3006 mm3; P < 0.05, analysis of variance test). After treatment, the palatal volume of the TCB group (3087 mm3) increased and did not differ from the NCB group (3208 mm3), whereas the UCB (2644 mm3) had a significantly smaller palatal volume than the NCB or TCB groups (P < 0.05). The increase of palatal volume in the TCB group (389 mm3) was significantly greater than in the UCB (59 mm3) and NCB (202 mm3) groups. The symmetry of the palatal vault was greater than 90 per cent in all three groups at T1 and at T2. Treatment of unilateral posterior crossbite in the primary dentition has a significant effect, particularly on the palatal volume increase.

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