Objective: To assess changes in the tongue and hyoid bone positions and airway dimensions after maxillary protraction using lateral cephalograms. Methods: Lateral cephalograms were obtained before (C0) and after (C1) an observation period for untreated children with skeletal Class I malocclusion and before (T0), immediately after (T1), and one year after (T2) maxillary protraction in children with skeletal Class III malocclusion. Cephalometric measurements were compared between the time points in both patient groups. Results: Immediately after maxillary protraction, the tongue moved superiorly and the nasopharyngeal and superior oropharyngeal airway dimensions increased. No significant changes in the middle or inferior oropharyngeal airway dimensions or in the hyoid bone position were noted after treatment. Conclusions: Maxillary protraction improved tongue posture and modified the nasopharyngeal and superior oropharyngeal airway dimensions in patients with skeletal Class III malocclusion. Consequently, maxillary protraction may restore the intra- and extraoral balance and improve respiratory function.
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