Objectives

To investigate the effects of long-term use of the lower lingual arch (LLA) on the sagittal and vertical positions of the permanent lower incisors and first molars.

Materials and Methods

The sample consisted of 98 patients who were treated with an LLA (LLA group) and 39 patients who were treated without an LLA (no-LLA group). The positional changes of the lower incisors and first molars were analyzed after performing mandibular structural superimpositions on lateral cephalometric radiographs taken before treatment (T1) and at the end of LLA therapy (T2). The mean ages at T1 and T2 were 8.5 years and 13.2 years, respectively. Study casts were analyzed to quantify arch dimensional changes.

Results

Mesial movement of the lower molar cusp was similar between the LLA and no-LLA groups, but the vertical position was slightly greater at T2 in the LLA group. In the LLA group, there was a molar tip-back effect, and the lower incisors were proclined 4.2° more than in the no-LLA group. Arch perimeter decreased 3.6 ± 2.6 mm without an LLA and 0.97 ± 3.7 mm with an LLA. Intercanine and intermolar widths both increased about 1 mm more with an LLA (P < .0001).

Conclusions

The LLA does not seem to restrict mesial movement and vertical eruption of the lower incisors and molars in the long term. The LLA effectively preserves the arch perimeter at the expense of a slight lower incisor proclination.

This content is only available as a PDF.

Author notes

a

Private Practice, Williamsburg, Va, USA

b

Private Practice, Sacramento, Calif, USA

c

Associate Professor, Department of Orthodontics, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, University of the Pacific, San Francisco, Calif, USA

d

Professor, Department of Diagnostic Sciences, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, University of the Pacific, San Francisco, Calif, USA

e

Professor and Chair, Department of Orthodontics, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, University of the Pacific, San Francisco, Calif, USA