Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the stress distribution and displacement of various craniofacial structures after nonsurgical rapid palatal expansion (RPE) with conventional (C-RPE), bone-borne (B-RPE), and miniscrew-assisted (MARPE) expanders for young adults using three-dimensional finite element analysis (3D FEA). Methods: Conventional, bone-borne, and miniscrew-assisted palatal expanders were designed to simulate expansion in a 3D FE model created from a 20-year-old human dry skull. Stress distribution and the displacement pattern for each circumaxillary suture and anchor tooth were calculated. Results: The results showed that C-RPE induced the greatest stress along the frontal process of the maxilla and around the anchor teeth, followed by the suture area, whereas B-RPE generated the greatest stress around the miniscrew, although the area was limited within the suture. Compared with the other appliances, MARPE caused relatively even stress distribution, decreased the stress on the buccal plate of the anchor teeth, and reduced tipping of the anchor teeth. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that the incorporation of miniscrews in RPE devices may contribute to force delivery to the sutures and a decrease in excessive stress on the buccal plate. Thus, MARPE may serve as an effective modality for the nonsurgical treatment of transverse maxillary deficiency in young adults.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2017R1D1A1B03035435).
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