Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the suitability of the widths of some commercially available preformed NiTi arch wires to the dental arch widths of a sample of the Egyptian population.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included 420 maxillary and mandibular pairs of casts for subjects with an age range of 10-16 years as part of project by the National Research Centre. The casts were traced using TracerNet; intercanine and intermolar widths were measured on the casts. Anterior and posterior arch lengths were measured to facilitates the measurements on the wires. The intercanine and intermolar widths of eight commercially available archwires were measured on a graph paper.
Results: Regression analysis was performed to create a regression model for the predicted means of the intercanine and intermolar widths in different age groups. The mean square error (MSE) was calculated for all the available arch wires in relation to the dental arch. Ormco (Broad arch/small) had the lowest MSE; 1.55 for the upper intercanine width and 1.72 for the upper intermolar width. For the lower intercanine width its MSE was 0.30 for the Ormco and 0.31 for Ortho Technology, while for the lower intermolar width it was 0.78 for Ormco.
Conclusions: The commercially available archwires were all considerably larger than the mean dental arch size of the majority of the population, except for the Ormco; thus, inviting potential relapse of treatment. It is necessary to produce a wider range of customized archwires that better suit the dental arch sizes of the Egyptian population.