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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: ORTHODONTICS
The Art and Practice of Dentofacial Enhancement

Formerly World Journal of Orthodontics

Edited by
Rafi Romano, DMD, MSc (Editor-in-Chief)

ISSN 2160-2999 (print) / ISSN 2160-3006 (online)

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Yearbook 2012
Volume 13 , Issue 1

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Maxillary vestibular incision for surgically assisted rapid palatal expansion: Evidence for a conservative approach

Alan S. Herford, DDS, MD/Lee Akin, DDS/Marco Cicciù, DDS, PhD

Aim: To evaluate the soft tissue changes in upper lip, vermilion, and alar bases after surgically assisted rapid palatal expansion (SARPE). A new flap design was proposed to obtain more esthetic results. Methods: Sixteen patients who had undergone SARPE for skeletal deformities were evaluated. None of the patients treated had any previous maxillary or nasal surgery, nor did they have any previous trauma to the midface. The soft tissue was clinically evaluated before and after surgery. Lip length and width were traced and measured on the radiograph, both preoperatively and postoperatively, by the same investigator. Preoperative and 6-month postoperative photographs were added. Results: The data suggested that the greater the stability in the soft tissue, particularly in the vermilion width and alar base, the more conservative the maxillary vestibular incision could be. Conclusion: A conservative anterior vestibular incision at 6 months resulted in better esthetics, influencing a smaller loss of vermilion and less widening of alar bases. Otherwise, a traditional incision associated with decreased lip length slightly increased with the modified incision. SARPE can be effectively performed with a more conservative vestibular incision to prevent excessive scarring and shortening of the lip to achieve predictable results. ORTHODONTICS (CHIC) 2012;13:168–175.

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