This study aimed to characterise the palatal vault evolution during the first years of life, both in terms of shape and size.
Material and methods
The study sample was composed of 168 healthy children aged less than 4 years. Twenty-one measurements of distances and 6 angles were taken from 7 fixed landmarks set on the palatal vaults 3D surfaces reconstructed from CT-scans. To analyse only the shape evolution, the “sizefree” log-shape ratio of those measurements were computed and the global shape of the palatal vault and their transversal curve were plotted. Statistical analyses were performed to highlight the shape and size differences separately.
Three main groups were identified, reflecting the development of the deciduous dentition. Within the first two groups, additional morphological distinctions were observed, explained by age. Within the third group, three subgroups were identified, each composed of individuals aged approximately the same but distinct in terms of sex. Aside from a global increase in the palatal dimensions, observed mostly before the eruption of all deciduous teeth, this growth pattern was characterized by the progressive deepening of the vault and increasing of the posterior relief. An asymmetry was also observed for older individuals.
The shape and size evolution of the palatal vault during the first years of life was not only correlated with deciduous dentition development. We assumed that the progressive orofacial muscles activation and tongue movements in the oral cavity may also explain these results as they induced strains on the palatal vault, warping it in various ways.
Harvard: F. Remy, Y. Godio-Raboutet, G. Captier, P. Burgart, P. Bonnaure, L. Thollon, L. Guyot (2023) "Characterization of the very young child’s palatal vault growth pattern: how do its size and shape evolve?", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, (24), pp1-. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2023.1663
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