Predicting tooth-size discrepancy: A new formula utilizing revised landmarks and 3-dimensional laser scanning technology

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The goal of this study was to develop a more accurate formula to forecast tooth-size discrepancies in patients based on not only the size of the whole teeth but also functional arch components derived from normal cusp-fossa interdigitation that should be obtained as the final treatment goal.


A total of 141 dental casts from Dr Larry Andrews' collection of “normal occlusions” that never received orthodontic treatment were scanned with an Ortho Insight 3D Laser Scanner (Motion View Software, Chattanooga, Tenn). Individual tooth sizes and portions of tooth sizes were measured with the Motion View Software. For each set of models, potential tooth-size discrepancies were calculated by using both the original Bolton analysis and the new Johnson/Bailey analysis developed by this team at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). Six tooth-size discrepancy ratios were computed and included the Bolton (2) and the new (4) Johnson/Bailey analysis ratios for the anterior arch component, posterior arch component, and overall ratio of the maxillary and mandibular arches. The Johnson/Bailey analysis utilized different landmarks and groups of teeth. It consequently divided the maxillary segment by the mandibular segment, in contrast to the Bolton ratios, which divided the mandibular sums by the maxillary totals.


The Bolton anterior segment ratio ranged from 70.68 to 84.81, with a mean of 77.91 (SD, 2.43) (3.1%). The Bolton overall ratio ranged from 86.19 to 96.62, with a mean of 91.64 (SD, ±1.74) (1.8%). The Johnson/Bailey posterior discrepancy ratio ranged from 0.98 to 1.23, with a mean of 1.10 (SD, ±0.04) (3.6%). Its anterior discrepancy ratio ranged from 0.91 to 1.14, with a mean of 1.03 (SD, ±0.04) (3.9%). The Johnson/Bailey overall discrepancy ratio ranged from 0.98 to 1.15, with a mean of 1.06 (SD, ±0.03) (2.8%).


Two methods were used to forecast tooth-size discrepancies between opposing arches in a sample with clinically acceptable occlusions. The new approach provided more specific ratios utilizing more clinically relevant functional arch components derived from dental cusp-fossa interdigitation.

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