The width, length and depth of dental arches have significantimplications in orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning in a modern dentistrybased on prevention and early diagnosis of oral disease (Carter et al, 1998).Malocclusion has been associatedwith poorer oral health-related quality of life (Scapini et al, 2013) and self-dissatisfactionwith appearance (Tessarollo et al, 2012). Therefore, early diagnosis andtreatment of malocclusion may be valuable for many dental patients. Earlytreatment in orthodontics is the intervention in the primary, early mixed(permanent first molars and incisors present), or mid mixed dentition period(before eruption of first premolars and permanent mandibular canines) withremovable or fixed appliance (Ghafari et al, 1998). Several studies have shownthat early orthodontic treatment can considerably reduce the complexity of someorthodontic cases (Dugoni, 1998; Brennan et al, 2000; Keski-Nisula et al,2008). Therefore, it is important to know the characteristics of differenttypes of malocclusions in order to make an proper treatment plan.
During the mixed dentition, the changes that occurin the dental arches are consequencesoftooth movement and growth of supporting bone, besides genetic component (Cassidy et al, 1998). These naturallyoccurring changes, which happen in untreated individuals, have been used formany times, as comparative “gold standards”, which have been employed to assistthe diagnosis and orthodontic planning (Carter et al, 1998).There are studies that haveinvestigated arch dimension of each malocclusion type (Lux et al, 2003; Isik et al,2006; Chen et al, 2007; Slajet al, 2010). However, many of these studies were done in permanent dentition,with a limited number of subjects, or without clear inclusion criteria; thishad led to conflicting results of the literature. Accordingly, this review ofthe literature will attempt to demonstrate the controversies that exist in thecurrent literature regarding the arch dimensions of each malocclusion type.
Thisreview will begin with a brief review of normal development in mixed-dentition,normal development of arch width and arch depth, followed by literaturereporting arch dimensions of Class I and Class II division 1 malocclusions, aswell as gender dimorphism.