INTRODUCTION: The aims of this study were to identify a sample of borderline Class I extraction and nonextraction patients and to investigate posttreatment changes in arch-width and perimeter measurements.
METHODS: A parent sample of 580 Class I patients was subjected to discriminant analysis, and a borderline subsample of 62 patients, 31 treated with extraction of 4 first premolars and 31 treated without extractions, was obtained. The patients' plaster casts were digitally scanned, and the maxillary and mandibular intercanine and intermolar widths and perimeters were assessed.
RESULTS: The extraction group showed increases in maxillary and mandibular intercanine widths (P <0.001) and decreases in mandibular intermolar width and in maxillary and mandibular perimeters (P <0.001). The nonextraction group showed increases in all 4 arch-width measurements (P ≤0.003), whereas the maxillary and mandibular perimeters were maintained. The posttreatment differences between the 2 groups showed significant differences in the maxillary (P <0.001) and mandibular intermolar widths (P <0.001). Also, the comparison of the arch perimeters between the 2 treatment groups showed adjusted differences of -8.51 mm (P <0.001) and -8.44 mm (P <0.001) for the maxillary and mandibular arches, respectively. The intercanine widths showed no changes between the 2 treatment groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Borderline Class I patients treated with extraction of 4 first premolars had decreased maxillary and mandibular intermolar and perimeter measurements compared with nonextraction patients. The maxillary and mandibular intercanine widths showed no significant difference between the 2 treatment groups.