Stress distribution and displacement by different bone-borne palatal expanders with micro-implants: a three-dimensional finite-element analysis

Hye Kyung Lee, Mohamed Bayome, Chee Soo Ahn, Seong-Hun Kim, Ki Beom Kim, Sung-Seo Mo, Yoon-Ah Kook
European Journal of Orthodontics 2014, 36 (5): 531-40
The aim of this study was to analyze stress distribution and displacement of the maxilla and teeth according to different designs of bone-borne palatal expanders using micro-implants. A three-dimensional (3D) finite-element (FE) model of the craniofacial bones and maxillary teeth was obtained. Four designs of rapid maxillary expanders: one with micro-implants placed lateral to mid-palatal suture (type 1), the second at the palatal slope (type 2), the third as in type 1 with additional conventional Hyrax arms (type 3), and the fourth surgically assisted tooth-borne expander (type 4) were added to the FE models. Expanders were activated transversely for 0.25mm. Geometric nonlinear theory was applied to evaluate Von-Mises Stress distribution and displacement. All types exhibited downward displacement and demonstrated more horizontal movement in the posterior area. Type 3 showed the most transverse displacement. The rotational movement of dentoalveolar unit was larger in types 1 and 3, whereas it was relatively parallel in types 2 and 4. The stresses were concentrated around the micro-implants in types 1 and 3 only. Type 2 had the least stress concentrations around the anchorage and showed alveolar expansion without buccal inclination. It is recommended to apply temporary anchorage devices to the palatal slopes to support expanders for efficient treatment of maxillary transverse deficiency.

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