Method: Thirty longitudinal sets of dental casts of the maxilla of Black females were available for study. The ages were from five years to 18 years. Width and depth measurements were taken directly on the casts using standard millimeter rulers. The BMDPC statistical package was used to compute means, variances and standard deviations to aid in the analyses of the data. Also, tables and diagrams were used. Data from Standards of Human Occlusal Development by Moyers et al were used to compare the data on the dentition of White females.
Result: The mean intercanine width started at 30 mm at age five, reaching 38 mm at 12 to 14 years and remaining the same thereafter. The first premolars followed a similar pattern of development but was wider than the canines. The maxillary first molar width started at 48 mm at age five, with a gradual increase in width with age.to 55 mm. The depth of the maxilla reached its greatest dimension between 8 and 12 years of age. In racial comparisons, the maxillary dental arch was larger in Black females at all ages. The depths in the two groups were similar in the earlier years. The two ethnic groups had similar growth gradients.
Conclusion: The dental arches in Black females are larger than in White females. The developmental changes occur at similar times. The larger sizes of the dental arches will require adjustments in some dental instruments routinely used in patient care. It also dictates some adjustments in diagnostic procedures. Further study of this subject is indicated if we are to reduce some of the disparities in wellness status, health care and access to health care.
Keywords: Anatomy, Growth & development, Human, Orthodontics and Pedodontics