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Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2000 Jan;117(1):81-5.

The use of the lingual arch in the mixed dentition to resolve incisor crowding.

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Department of Orthodontics, Boston University, MA 02118-2392, USA.


In the mixed dentition, arch length preservation, maintaining the leeway space, can often provide adequate space to resolve lower incisor crowding. Yet the frequency of this occurrence is not known. To obtain this information, lingual arches were placed in the mandibular arches of 107 consecutive mixed dentition patients with incisor crowding to preserve arch length and make the leeway space available to resolve the crowding. Arch length decreased only 0.44 mm whereas the intercanine, interpremolar, and intermolar dimensions increased between 0.72 and 2.27 mm. There was adequate space to resolve the crowding in 65 (60%) of the 107 patients. If perfect arch length preservation had occurred, there would have been adequate space to resolve the crowding in 73 (68%) of the 107 patients. The correlation between leeway space and tooth size-arch size discrepancy was only 0.44.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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