Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Steven Lindauer


The skeletal and dental changes associated with rapid maxillary expansion (RME) are well documented. Effects on the soft tissues and the potential impact on facial esthetics have not been well researched. The purpose of this study was to evaluate immediate changes in facial soft tissues as a result of RME by comparing threedimensional digital photogrammetric images before and after RME treatment. The 3dMDface System was used to obtain photographic images of 21 patients (mean age = 11.8 years) before and after RME treatment for transverse maxillary deficiency. A control group of 13 patients (mean age = 12.7 years) also had two images taken at a similar time interval. Mean expansion was 6.5 mm in the RME patients. Intercanthal distance, nose width, and intercommissural width changed significantly in the RME patients from T0 to T1 (P = 0.011, P = 0.050, and P = 0.003, respectively). Intercommissural width, however, was the only measure that significantly changed as compared with the control group (P = 0.041). Changes in intercanthal distance and nose width were significantly related to the amount of expansion achieved (R2 = 0.428, P = 0.0013 and R2 = 0.501, P = 0.0003, respectively).


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2011

Included in

Dentistry Commons