Maxillary expansion methods

Gustė Markevičiūtė1, Vilija Berlin1,2

1Institute of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

2Vilnius University Hospital Zalgiris Clinic, Vilnius, Lithuania 


Background. Posterior crossbite is a common malocclusion usually caused by insufficient growth of maxilla. In Lithuania, the prevalence of crossbite during mixed or early permanent dentition is approximately 30%. Generally, posterior crossbite does not cause any pain or chewing difficulties in children, though, if not treated, it can lead to abnormal movement of the mandible, strain of the temporomandibular joint, skeletal facial assymetry or obstructive sleep apnea. This type of malocclusion usually does not self-correct, so orthodontic maxillary expansion is needed. Maxillary expansion technique is dependent on patient’s age and his midpalatal suture ossification level.

Aim: to analyze the scientific literature about treatment of posterior crossbite and maxillary expansion methods.

Methods: literature sources were selected from PubMed and Cochrane Library scientific databases, using the keywords in the original language: “posterior crossbite“, “maxillary expansion“, “palatal expansion“.

Results: 31 publications were analyzed on the subject of posterior crossbite and maxillary expansion methods.

Conclusions. The following methods of maxillary expansion can be distinguished: slow or rapid maxillary expansion, surgically assisted rapid palatal expansion and mini-implant assisted rapid palatal expansion. Method selection depends on patient’s age and skeletal maturity. The most important factor is midpalatal suture ossification level.

Keywords: posterior crossbite, maxillary expansion, palatal expansion.