The Impact of Playing Wind Musical Instruments on the Dental Arch Dimensions in a Male West African Population
Background: Dental arch dimensions are important considerations in orthodontic treatment planning and monitoring. Objective: This study aimed to compare the dental arch dimensions in wind and non-wind instrument players (WIP and non-WIP). Methods: This was a cross-sectional study which compared a group of 50 male subjects aged 18–45 years that had been playing wind instruments for a minimum of 2 years with a control group matched for age in the same environment. The arch dimensions were assessed for both groups by measuring their dental casts using a digital caliper. Data was analyzed using statistical Software Package for Social Sciences (SPSS Inc, Chicago, IL) version 17. Statistical significance level was set at P < 0.05. Results: The mean number of years of playing wind instrument among the WIP was 9.26 ± 6.21 years. All the maxillary arch dimensions were larger in the WIP group except for the palatal depth while the mandibular arch parameters in the non-WIP group were larger than the WIP group except the mandibular arch length. The differences were not statistically significant (P > 0.05). The mean maxillary inter-canine width (37.48 ± 1.12 mm), inter-molar width (57.27 ± 1.99 mm), arch length (29.80 ± 2.2.09 mm), and palatal depth (22.21 ± 2.33 mm) for class B instrument (Saxophone and clarinet) players were larger than either the class A instrument (Trumpet and trombone) players or the non-WIP group. These differences were not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Conclusions: Playing a wind instrument as well as the type of instrument played, duration, and frequency of play did not significantly affect dental arch dimensions.