Author(s): Melsen B, Melsen F
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Abstract Greater understanding of the postnatal region of the maxilla is necessary if the normal growth of the maxillary complex, as well as its reaction to orthopedic forces, is to be comprehended. The area in question was studied at various stages of development, both on dry skulls and on autopsy material. The skull material demonstrated an increasing approximation between the palatal bone and the adjacent bones, the maxilla and pterygoid process. Disarticulation of the bones studied was possible only on skulls representing the infantile and earliest adolescent periods. Attempted disarticulation in the later juvenile and early adolescent periods was always accompanied by fracture of the heavily interdigitated osseous surfaces. The complexity of the articulating surfaces was studied further and, by means of quantitation of the bony surfaces, an "index of complexity" was calculated. The findings of the present study that the palatal bone acts as a "buffer" between two areas of differing intrinsic growth pattern and that the remodeling processes in the area seem to reflect different functional demands to the bony pharynx and the maxillary complex. The rigidity of the area as a result of the observed sutural complexity indicates that the center of rotation for the observed spatial changes in the maxillary complex as a result of orthopedic forces could be localized in the palatomaxillary region.
This article was published in Am J Orthod
and referenced in Dentistry