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Abstract

Changes in dental arch width during treatment and the postretention period are ongoing issues in orthodontics. Studies have documented that changes in arch dimensions occur during orthodontic treatment regardless of whether extractions were adopted or not. This has led to continued debate regarding the method that delivers better long-term results. Maintenance of pretreatment intercanine widths has been suggested to be the key to the posttreatment stability of the dental arch. Additionally, smile esthetics are also influenced by the changes in intercanine widths, leading to a debate that involves smile esthetics as well as long-term stability. This article reviews the postretention changes to intercanine widths in the context of different treatment modalities (extraction and nonextraction therapy) and the ability of the orthodontic procedure to realize and maintain the stability of dental arch width and smile esthetics.

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