Paola Agostino, Alessandro Ugolini, Alessio Signori, Armando Silvestrini-Biavati, Jayne E Harrison, Philip Riley
A posterior crossbite occurs when the top back teeth bite inside the bottom back teeth. It occurs when the top teeth or jaw are narrower than the bottom teeth and can happen on one or both sides of the mouth. The condition affects between 1% and 16% of children who only have their baby teeth. Most posterior crossbites (50% to 90%) remain even when the permanent teeth erupt. In a minority of children, the problem self corrects.
In order to obtain a more comfortable bite, the lower jaw shifts to one side into a position that allows more teeth to come into contact. However, this shifting of the lower jaw may lead to tooth grinding, and this may lead to other dental problems including the tooth surface being worn away, abnormal growth and development of the teeth and jaws, and jaw joint problems.
Therefore, there is a need to find safe and effective treatments to correct posterior crossbites or expand the top back teeth, or both. One alternative is using orthodontic treatments. This can be more effective in children because the two halves of the roof of the mouth have not fully joined yet, so the top back teeth can be expanded more easily.
Several treatments have been recommended to correct this problem. Some treatments widen the upper teeth while others are directed at treating the cause of the posterior crossbite (e.g. breathing problems or sucking habits). Most treatments have been used at each stage of dental development.
Purpose of the Review
To assess the effects of orthodontic treatment for posterior crossbites.
- There is some evidence to suggest that the quad-helix (fixed) appliance may be more successful than removable expansion plates at correcting posterior crossbites and expanding the top back teeth for children with a mixture of baby and adult teeth (aged eight to 10 years).
- The remaining evidence did not allow the conclusion that any one treatment is better than another.