USPTO Registration No. 4737325

Dentometrics® vs. Current Orthodontics

Dentometrics® introduces a new standard for diagnosing and treating the dental arch using facial and cranial anatomic landmarks.

Currently, orthodontics and dentistry define the dental arch as property of the clinical crowns, meaning it is determined by the shape into which teeth are aligned. Yet, there is no definition for a “normal” arch form. Since the late 1800’s, the accepted goal of orthodontia has been to achieve normal occlusion (the fitting together of upper and lower teeth), also known as Angle’s Class I.

By contrast, Dentometrics® defines the dental arch as property of the skull anatomy, meaning that it is integrated into the facial and cranial structures. According to this philosophy, malocclusion is not simply the result of misaligned teeth. Dentometrics® looks at the deformation of underlying structures affecting the dimensions of the arch, which displaces teeth into misalignment, impaction and malocclusion. The primary goal of treatment is not normal occlusion but normal arch structure.

Dr. Lee’s vision for Dentometric® began at Harvard Dental School, where her combined background in neuroscience and art helped her to see the dental arch not only as “the location of teeth,” but also as an anatomic structure related to the structures around it. This relationship was the essential component of Dentometric® Arch Analysis, or aligning teeth with respect to facial features. With her extensive background, Dr. Lee was able to understand and explore the oral cavity from this deeper, all encompassing perspective – as part of a complex, interconnected network of facial structures controlled by oral muscles and neural innervation.

Rationale Behind Developing Dentometrics®:

Based on current theory, the dimensions of a patient’s arch are fixed. Common treatments for deformities are:

  • Using the pre-treatment arch form as the basis for defining the normal arch form.

  • Extracting healthy teeth to make the space needed to align teeth in a straight row.

Points of concern:

  • Can a dental arch from which teeth have been extracted, or that includes stripped down teeth, actually be considered “normal” in terms of size and shape?

  • What is the rationale behind using the pre-treatment arch form, which is typically deformed, as the guideline for defining a patient’s normal arch form?

  • Extraction can cause permanent deformation in terms of overall facial structure and appearance.

Even the positive results of traditional methods leave us with no definition for a normal arch form. Class I occlusion is commonly accompanied by problems such as crowding, deep bite and cross bite. Straight alignment of teeth can present with a gummy smile, incisor proclination and malocclusion. Therefore, neither is acceptable as a standard for determining normal arch parameters.

Dentometrics® Answers These Questions:

  • What is the natural size and shape of a dental arch that is a good fit for the human face?