Cephalometric variables predicting the long-term success or failure of combined rapid maxillary expansion and facial mask therapy

Tiziano Baccetti, Lorenzo Franchi, James A McNamara
American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics 2004, 126 (1): 16-22
The aim of this study was to select a model of cephalometric variables to predict the results of early treatment of Class III malocclusion with rapid maxillary expansion and facemask therapy followed by comprehensive treatment with fixed appliances. Lateral cephalograms of 42 patients (20 boys, 22 girls) with Class III malocclusion were analyzed at the start of treatment (mean age 8 years 6 months +/- 2 years, at stage I in cervical vertebral maturation). All patients were reevaluated after a mean period of 6 years 6 months (at stage IV or V in cervical vertebral maturation) that included active treatment plus retention. At this time, the sample was divided into 2 groups according to occlusal criteria: a successful group (30 patients) and an unsuccessful group (12 patients). Discriminant analysis was applied to select pretreatment predictive variables of long-term treatment outcome. Stepwise variable selection of the cephalometric measurements at the first observation identified 3 predictive variables. Orthopedic treatment of Class III malocclusion might be unfavorable over the long term when a patient's pretreatment cephalometric records exhibit a long mandibular ramus (ie, increased posterior facial height), an acute cranial base angle, and a steep mandibular plane angle. On the basis of the equation generated by the multivariate statistical method, the outcome of interceptive orthopedic treatment for each new patient with Class III malocclusion can be predicted with a probability error of 16.7%.

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