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Publication Detail
Maxillary Changes Following Facial Bipartition - A Three-Dimensional Quantification.
INTRODUCTION: Children with Apert syndrome have hypertelorism and midfacial hypoplasia, which can be treated with facial bipartition (FB), often aided by rigid external distraction. The technique involves a midline osteotomy that lateralizes the maxillary segments, resulting in posterior cross-bites and midline diastema. Varying degrees of spontaneous realignment of the dental arches occurs postoperatively. This study aims to quantify these movements and assess whether they occur as part of a wider skeletal relapse or as dental compensation. METHODS: Patients who underwent FB and had high quality computed tomography scans at the preoperative stage, immediately postsurgery, and later postoperatively were reviewed. DICOM files were converted to three-dimensional bone meshes and anatomical point-to-point displacements were quantified using nonrigid iterative closest point registration. Displacements were visualized using arrow maps, thereby providing an overview of the movements of the facial skeleton and dentition. RESULTS: Five patients with Apert syndrome were included. In all cases, the arrow maps demonstrated initial significant anterior movement of the frontofacial segment coupled with medial rotation of the orbits and transverse divergence of the maxillary arches. The bony position following initial surgery was shown to be largely stable, with primary dentoalveolar relapse correcting the dental alignment. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that spontaneous dental compensation occurs following FB without compromising the surgical result. It may be appropriate to delay active orthodontic for 6-months postoperatively until completion of this early compensatory phase.
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