Objective: The aim of this study is to analyze the age-related changes in the bony recession and cortical bone remodeling induced by lateral orthodontic tooth movement, using a three-dimensional micro-computed tomography (CT) analysis. Material and Methods: A total of 40 male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into two distinct age groups (young, 10 weeks and adult, 52 weeks). Double-helical springs exerting 40 g of force were applied to central incisors to analysis of changes in lateral cortical bone and tooth movement with age and time. The young and adult rats were divided into four subgroups, T0 (0 week), T1 (1 week), T2 (2 weeks), and T3 (3 weeks), depending on the period of wearing the appliance. Micro-CT image was taken on each dissected pre-maxilla specimen. In each subgroup, distance between the center of teeth, suture width, tooth displacement, bony recession, and bone volume was evaluated. Results: The changes in the distance between the center of teeth and the suture width were significantly greater in the young group. However, the change in the tooth displacement showed no significant difference between groups. In the young group, bony recession of outer cortical layer was observed at T1 (P < 0.05), but the amount of recession gradually decreased at T2 and T3. In contrast, in the adult group, bony recession increased gradually over observation period (P < 0.05). The bone volume decreased at T1 (P < 0.05), but recovered at T2 and T3 in both groups. Conclusion: The compensatory bone formation occurs in the pressure side of cortical bone more significantly in the young group than in the adult according to the lateral displacement of incisor in rats. The reduced bone reaction in the adult is considered a limiting factor of the excessive tooth movement in the compromised treatment of skeletal malocclusion.
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