A three-dimensional analysis of mandibular arch changes following curve of Spee leveling in nonextraction orthodontic treatment
The present study was conducted to determine the effects of curve of Spee leveling on three-dimensional arch length and specific components of arch form. The mandibular pretreatment and posttreatment dental casts of 33 patients treated orthodontically without the extraction of teeth were d igitized with a three-dimensional positioning yransducer integrated with a graphics calculator. Statistical analysis was carried out with general linear models and the calculation of Pearson correlation coefficients of the relationships between the dependent variable of the curve of Spee leveling and the independent variables of arch length, arch depth, and three arch widths. The regression and correlation analyses essentiall showed no relationship between the independent variables (arch length, arch depth, and the three arch widths) and the dependent variable (curve of Spee leveling). Although the three-dimensional arch length was increased after leveling of the curve of Spee in 24 of the 33 dental casts evaluated, the results from the statistical analyses indicated that this increased arch length was not necessarily the result of the curve of Spee leveling but may have been caused by other variables.