Treatment planning for the dental arch has often relied on interpretation of root position based on external factors; buccolingual position, torque and angulation of the crowns, or the shape of the alveolar crest have been used in various ways to develop bracket and wire systems that should put the roots of the teeth within the alveolar bone. Various shapes and methods of determining arch shapes have also been proposed. With the ready availability of CBCT imaging we now have the ability to look directly at the position of the root within the bone and to determine more precise relationships between the teeth and the bone. Combining this imaging technique with 3 dimensional shape analysis can now give us a different way to explore the relationship between coronal arch form and apical arch form. Morphometric techniques can also tell us what happens to the shape of the dental arch at various levels in the bone after treatment, which should inform our ability to more accurately predict and modify our treatment at the coronal level to anticipate outcomes at the apical level.
Assess classical methods of determining the mandibular dental arch form.
Describe the method of 3 dimensional morphometric analysis as applied to the mandibular teeth.
Introduce and evaluate some recent morphometric research on the mandibular dental arch form and make suggestions for future research.