Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) allows for more accurate 3D study of the craniofacial region and the development of a very precise treatment plan. The present pilot study aims to evaluate the skeletal outcomes of the rapid maxillary expander (RME) on the sagittal, transverse and vertical planes in growing patients subjected to CBCT at T0 and T1, and to compare the results from two different programs. The effects of the RME are monitored in 11 patients who were subjected to CBCT at T0, before the expansion, and at T1, 6 months after the end of the RME therapy. The results obtained are evaluated using two programs: Simplant and Delta-Dent. All of the analyses were performed by the same operator. Both programs reported statistically significant differences between the pre-and post-expansion values of the parameters on the transverse plane. On the vertical plane, only posterior facial height showed a statistically relevant variation. Both programs underlined a discrepancy between the pre-and post-expansion infraorbital and mental foramina distance values; however, this difference was considered statistically significant by Delta-Dent, and not by Simplant. CBCT is a reliable and effective tool for orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning. Both of the evaluated programs are efficient in tridimensional cephalometric analysis.
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