Changes in alveolar bone thickness due to retraction of anterior teeth

Sarikaya S., Haydar B., Ciger S., Ariyurek M.

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ORTHODONTICS AND DENTOFACIAL ORTHOPEDICS, vol.122, no.1, pp.15-26, 2002 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


In cases of bimaxillary protrusion, extraction of 4 premolars and orthodontic treatment with retraction of the anterior teeth is a widely used approach. However, there is controversy over whether the changes that occur in the anterior alveolar bone always follow the direction and quantity of tooth movement. Nineteen patients with dentoalveolar bimaxillary protrusion treated by extracting the 4 first premolars were evaluated with lateral cephalograms and computed tomography (CT). Cephalograms and CT scans were made before treatment and 3 months after retraction of the incisors. The measurements of the cephalograms showed that maxillary and mandibular incisors were retracted primarily by controlled tipping of the teeth. For all maxillary and mandibular incisors, we assessed the labial and the lingual alveolar plates at crest level (S1), midroot level (S2), and apical level (S3) for bone-thickness changes during retraction of the maxillary and mandibular anterior segments. In the mandibular arch, the labial bone maintained its original thickness, except the S1 measurements, which showed a significant decrease in bone thickness (P <.001). In the maxillary arch, the labial bone thickness remained unchanged. There were statistically significant decreases in lingual bone width in both arches after retracting the incisors. Some of the patients demonstrated bone dehiscence that was not visible macroscopically or cephalometrically. When tooth movement is limited, forcing the tooth against the cortical bone may cause adverse sequelae. This type of approach must be carefully monitored to avoid negative iatrogenic effects.