Stresses in the midpalatal suture in the maxillary protraction therapy: a 3D finite element analysis

Orlando M Tanaka, Amando Yukio Saga, Matheus Melo Pithon, Marco Andre Argenta
Progress in Orthodontics 2016, 17: 8

BACKGROUND: The aim of the present work was to evaluate the stress magnitudes and directions along the midpalatal suture in the maxillary protraction therapy.

METHODS: The geometry of the maxilla and teeth were digitally reconstructed based on computer tomography images obtained from the skull of a girl in a mixed dentition stage with skeletal and dental class III malocclusion. An appliance commonly used for rapid palatal expansion (RPE) was also digitally modeled for anchorage of the protraction force and meshed for finite element analysis. The maxillary protraction was simulated applying 600 cN (300 cN for each side) directed 30° forward and downward to the maxillary occlusal plane.

RESULTS: The principal stresses, through the force application, exhibited similar distribution patterns. A higher stress area was observed in the region of the midpalatal suture located in front of the incisive canal. All the sections showed vectors of compressive nature.

CONCLUSIONS: Because of the compressive nature of the stresses distributed along the midpalatal suture in the maxillary protraction therapy simulation, which is opposite to the natural growth transversal tendency, maxillary expansion is advisable in clinical cases.

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