Background: The aim of this randomized clinical trial was to assess the effect of early orthodontic treatment for unilateral posterior cross bite in the late deciduous and early mixed dentition using orthopedic parameters.
Methods: Early orthodontic treatment was performed by initial maxillary expansion and subsequent activator therapy (Münster treatment concept). The patient sample was initially comprised of 80 patients with unilateral posterior cross bite (mean age 7.3 years, SD 2.1 years). After randomization, 77 children attended the initial examination appointment (therapy = 37, control = 40); 31 children in the therapy group and 35 children in the control group were monitored at the follow-up examination (T2). The mean interval between T1 and T2 was 1.1 years (SD 0.2 years). Rasterstereography was used for back shape analysis at T1 and T2. Using the profile, the kyphotic and lordotic angle, the surface rotation, the lateral deviation, pelvic tilt and pelvic torsion, statistical differences at T1 and T2 between the therapy and control groups were calculated (t-test). Our working hypothesis was, that early orthodontic treatment can induce negative therapeutic changes in body posture through thoracic and lumbar position changes in preadolescents with uniltaral cross bite.
Results: No clinically relevant differences between the control and the therapy groups at T1 and T2 were found for the parameters of kyphotic and lordotic angle, the surface rotation, lateral deviation, pelvic tilt, and pelvic torsion.
Conclusions: Our working hypothesis was tested to be not correct (within the limitations of this study). This randomized clinical trial demonstrates that in a juvenile population with unilateral posterior cross bite the selected early orthodontic treatment protocol does not affect negatively the postural parameters.