Dental arch widths in the early and late permanent dentitions of a Nigerian population
Objective: This study was carried out in a Nigerian population to assess arch widths at two different stages of dentition, to observe the comparative changes which may occur, and to determine the presence or absence of sexual dimorphism in arch dimensions.
Material: The study population consisted of two groups of 150 subjects. Group 1 consisted of 75 males and 75 females aged 10-13 years (early permanent dentition); while Group 2 consisted of 75 males and 75 females aged 18-25 years (late permanent dentition). Measurements taken included maxillary and mandibular inter-canine, inter-premolar and inter-molar widths for both groups.
Result: In the early permanent stage, the mean maxillary inter-canine, inter-premolar and inter-molar widths were 36.37mm, 45mm and 55.22mm respectively in males and 34.35mm, 42.62mm and 51.56mm respectively in females. All findings were significantly greater in males. In the mandibular arch, findings recorded in males were also significantly greater than females with the exception of the inter-canine widths. In the late permanent dentition the mean maxillary inter-canine, inter-premolar and inter-molar arch widths were 37.65mm, 46.25mm and 57.35mm respectively in males and 37.07mm, 45.21mm and 55.30mm respectively in females.
Conclusion: Comparative changes in arch widths between early and late permanent dentition stages were seen with greater increases in arch widths in the maxilla when compared to the mandible. Significant sexual dimorphism was observed in almost all dimensions measured.
Key words: Dental arch widths, Nigerians