INTRODUCTION: The form of mandibular arch is considered one of the main references among the diagnostic tools because the maintenance of this arch form and dimension is an important factor for stability of orthodontic treatment. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the changes in mandibular intercanine and intermolar widths during orthodontic treatment and 3 years of posttreatment, in which the WALA ridge was used for individualization of the mandibular arch form. METHODS: Sample comprised of 20 patients (12 women and 8 men), with a mean age of 20.88 years. The dental casts of the initial, final and post-treatment evaluation were used for measurement of the intercanine and intermolar distances in the center of the buccal surface of the clinical crown and in the width of the WALA ridge. Data were analyzed by means of ANOVA test followed by Tukey test (p<0.05). RESULTS: Indicated that there was a statistically significant difference in intercanine and intermolar distances among the three stages evaluated. These distances increased significantly with treatment, and presented a reduction in the post-treatment period, however not reaching the initial values. CONCLUSIONS: The WALA ridge method used in this study for construction of the individualized diagrams and for measurement of the intercanine and intermolar distances was shown to be valuable, allowing the individualization of the dental arches and favoring the post-treatment stability.
Malocclusion; Angle Class I; Orthodontics; Relapse