Morphological and positional asymmetries of young children with functional unilateral posterior crossbite

Ary Santos Pinto, Peter H. Buschang, Gaylord S. Throckmorton, Patrick Chen

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146 Scopus citations


This prospective clinical study evaluated the morphological and positional mandibular asymmetry of young patients with functional unilateral posterior crossbite. The sample included 9 girls and 6 boys (8.8 ± 1.0 years of age), evaluated at the initiation of treatment and approximately 6 months after the retention phase (1.1 ± 0.2 years after initiation of treatment). Each patient had a complete unilateral posterior crossbite involving 3 or more posterior teeth, a functional shift from centric relation-intercuspal position, and no signs or symptoms of temporomandibular disorder. A bonded palatal expansion appliance was used to rapidly expand the maxilla (1 month) and retain the treatment changes (6 months). Zonograms were used to assess articular joint spaces, and submental vertex radiographs were used to assess morphological and positional asymmetry. The results showed that the mandible was significantly longer on the noncrossbite side than it was on the crossbite side. The asymmetry was most evident for the ramus and involved both the condylar and the coronoid processes. The posterior and superior joint spaces were larger on the noncrossbite side than they were on the crossbite side. After treatment and retention, the mandible showed no significant morphological asymmetries. Mandibular growth was greater on the crossbite side than it was on the noncrossbite side, and the mandible had been repositioned; the crossbite side had rotated forward and medially toward the noncrossbite side. We concluded that unilateral posterior crossbites produce morphological and positional asymmetries of the mandible in young children, and that these asymmetries can be largely eliminated with early expansion therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-520
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dentistry(all)


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