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Oral Health Research Orthodontics

Are there metabolic changes of dental pulp after rapid palatal expansion (RPE)?

This summary is based on the article published in the journal of Orthodontics and Cranofacial Research: Metabolic changes of human dental pulp after rapid palatal expansion (August 2013)

F. L. Wei; J. Geng; J. Guo; Q. Y. Guo; H. Wang; D. X. Liu; B. J. Zhang; C. L. Wang. Metabolic changes of human dental pulp after rapid palatal expansion. Orthod Craniofac Res. 2013 Aug;16(3):185-92. 


Rapid Palatal Expansion is (RPE) is an orthopedic technique frequently used to correct maxillary constriction and posterior cross-bite. High forces are produced during active expansion of the mid-palatal suture by RPE. Recently, the response of dental pulp tissue to orthodontic treatment has become a matter of particular interest and only a few studies have focused on RPE-induced dental pulp changes in a metabolic aspect.

Purpose of the Study

The study’s intent is to investigate the metabolic changes in human dental pulp that are induced by RPE, by measuring the expression and activity of aspartate aminotransferase (AST).

Key Messages

  • Significant reversible metabolic changes occured in the dental pulp during RPE which reveals the high capacity of the pulp tissue to adapt to this orthopedic method. 
  • AST was the only biochemical indicator for metabolic tissue changes; therefore, more data are required to reassess the full re-establishment of the initial conditions of pulp tissue. 


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  2. Vandevska-Radunovic V. Neural modulation of inflammatory reactions in dental tissues incident to orthodontic tooth movement. A review of the literature. Eur J Orthod 1999;21:231–47.
  3. Hamilton RS, Gutmann JL. Endodontic-orthodontic relationships: a review of integrated treatment planning challenges. Int Endod J 1999;32:343–60.
  4. Von B€ohl M, Ren Y, Fudalej PS, Kuijpers-Jagtman AM. Pulpal reactions to orthodontic force application in humans: a systematic review.J Endod 2012;38:1463–9.


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