The purpose of this study was to determine whether the palatal rugae could be used as an appropriate reference area for serial model superimposition following Rapid maxillary expansion(RME) and facemask treatment.
A total of 52 pediatric patients who had undergone RME and facemask treatment were selected. Palate and palatal rugae in the pre- and post- treatment casts from the patients were measured.
In spite of dentoalveolar changes occurred by RME and facemask, anteroposterior changes in palate and palatal rugae were not significant. Anatomical changes of palate and palatal rugae were mostly shown in the transverse dimension. The soft tissue of the palatal rugae stretches in adaptation to hard tissue movement. Among the evaluated landmarks, the medial point of the third palatal rugae seemed to be the most stable.
The observed alterations in the palatal rugae demonstrated the potential of medial points of third palatal rugae as a reference point in model superimpositions to evaluate dental movement within the maxillary arch following RME and facemask treatment.