Interarch tooth size relationships of 3 populations: "does Bolton's analysis apply?". Academic Article uri icon


  • This study evaluates whether Bolton's interarch ratios extend across populations and genders. The data were derived from systematically collected preorthodontic casts of 180 patients, including 30 males and 30 females from each of 3 populations (black, Hispanic, and white). Forty-eight mesiodistal contact points were digitized on each model, and the lengths of the anterior, posterior, and overall arch segments were calculated. The results showed significant (P <.05) ethnic group differences in all 6 arch segment lengths and in all 3 interarch ratios. Whites displayed the lowest overall ratio (92.3%), followed by Hispanics (93.1%), and blacks (93.4%). The group differences were due primarily to the relationships between the posterior segments. The arch segments of males were significantly larger than females; the overall and posterior ratios were also significantly larger in males than in females. Multiple regression analyses showed that individual differences in the overall ratio were most closely associated with the size of the lower second premolar, followed by the upper lateral incisors, upper second premolars, and the lower central incisors. In combination, these 4 teeth explained approximately 50% of the variation in the overall ratio between subjects. We conclude that interarch tooth size relationships are population and gender specific. Bolton ratios apply to white females only; the ratios should not be indiscriminately applied to white males, blacks, or Hispanics.

published proceedings

  • Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, S. S., Buschang, P. H., & Watanabe, E.

citation count

  • 129

complete list of authors

  • Smith, SS||Buschang, PH||Watanabe, E

publication date

  • February 2000