The aim of this study was to compare changes in soft-palate morphology and nasopharyngeal relations after orthopedic rapid maxillary expansion (RME) and surgically assisted RME (SARME).
A group of 10 patients received RME, a second group of 10 patients received SARME, and a third group of 10 patients served as an untreated control group. Lateral and posteroanterior cephalograms were obtained for each individual at preexpansion/precontrol and postexpansion/postcontrol. In addition to descriptive parameters, the angulation, length, and thickness of the soft palate and superior and inferior pharyngeal spaces and the ratios of the length of the soft palate to the length of the superior and inferior pharyngeal spaces were evaluated. Paired t
-tests were performed to analyze changes within groups, and analysis of variance and Duncan tests were used to compare changes among groups.
No statistically significant differences were found in changes in measurements related to soft-palate morphology or nasopharyngeal dimensions among the SARME, RME, and control groups; however, increases in soft-palate angulation and superior and inferior pharyngeal spaces after expansion/control were greater in the SARME group than in other groups.
No statistically significant differences were found between changes in the nasopharyngeal airway
after RME and SARME.