Changes in the pharyngeal airway associated with rapid maxillary expansion: A retrospective cephalemetric study
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Sixty orthodontics patients treated with fixed orthodontics were divided into two study groups. The experimental group (n = 30) required maxillary expansion to correct the deficiency in the palatal, and the control group (n = 30) had fixed orthodontic treatment only. Subjects age, gender, predominant mode of breathing, length of treatment and initial and final measurements of upper and lower pharyngeal airway were recorded. Results using Student t-test showed that age and gender were no statistically significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.2810). Mouth breathers distribution showed no statistically significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.7866). Upper pharyngeal airway increased an additional 0.77 mm in the expansion group which was statistically significant (Student's t-test, t = 2.492), while the lower pharyngeal airway showed no statistically significant difference (Student's t-test t = 1.041). In conclusion rapid maxillary expansion during orthodontic treatment had a positive affect on the upper pharyngeal airway, with no significant change on the lower airway.