eISSN: 2299-551X
ISSN: 0011-4553
Journal of Stomatology
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vol. 71
Review article

Methods of determining shape of dental arch vs choice of prefabricated orthodontic arch wires in patients before orthodontic treatment – review of literature

Daria Babicz, Anna Hille-Padalis, Bartłomiej W. Loster

J Stoma 2018; 71, 2: 194-202
Online publish date: 2018/12/19
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The shape and size of the dental arch are individual and unique for each human being. Over the years, scientists have worked very hard to try to define the shape of the human dental arch. In general, there are two ways of classification – a simple and a more complex one. It is believed that preservation of the original form of the dental arch during orthodontic treatment increases the success of its outcome, and the correct recognition of the shape of the dental arch allows achieving a stable, functional and aesthetic occlusion. Therefore, the choice of the orthodontic arch is one of the most important stages of orthodontic diagnostics. The aim of the study was to go through the previously published material on the subject and to analyse the correlation between the natural shape of the dental arch and the shape of prefabricated arch wires used during orthodontic treatment in order to select an optimal method of determining the form of the orthodontic arch. The literature review was based on following medical databases: PubMed, Cochrane and Embase. The key words used in the research were: dental arch, dental arch shape, ideal dental arch, arch wires, preformed arch wires. Moreover, a review of Polish medical journals was carried out. Eventually, 28 papers were qualified for the analysis. An important element of the orthodontic diagnosis is correct determination of the shape of the dental arch since it affects the course and stability of the orthodontic treatment. There are many methods of determining the course of the dental arch. Choosing the correct one makes it easier for the clinician to select the right orthodontic arch for the patient before the commencement of treatment. As a result, it is more likely that uncontrolled changes in the dental arch will be avoided, thus improving the stability of treatment effects. Even though cautious evaluation of the shape of the dental arch and the correct choice of the orthodontic arch dedicated to an individual patient are very important, clinicians still rarely respect them. One of the main conclusions of the literature review concerning the above-mentioned problems is that further research should be done regarding this area of orthodontic treatment.

dental arch, dental arch shape, ideal dental arch, arch wires, preformed arch wires

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