Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

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Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Dentistry

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College of Dental Medicine

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


A thesis submitted to the College of Dental Medicine of Nova Southeastern University of the degree of Master of Science in Dentistry.

Introduction: The association between occlusal characteristics and Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) has been previously investigated, however, debate still exists. Objective: To compare the occlusal characteristics of subjects with anterior disc displacement with reduction (ADDR) to that of asymptomatic controls. To investigate whether an association exists between specific occlusal characteristics and ADDR. Materials & Methods: 99 de-identified dental casts (68 ADDR subjects and 31 asymptomatic subjects) from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine were analyzed. Eleven occlusal characteristics were evaluated for each set of casts: 1. Angle's dental classification of malocclusion 2. overjet 3. overbite 4. intercanine distance 5. intermolar distance 6. curve of spee 7. arch form 8. tooth size arch length discrepancy 9. crossbite 10. Bolton discrepancy 11. premolar extractions. Results: Significant associations were found between bilateral AADR and a tapered arch form (p<0.05). In addition, there was a significant association between an ovoid arch form and the absence of ADDR (p<0.05). The mandibular intercanine distance of subjects with bilateral ADDR was smaller than those with unilateral ADDR (left TMJ) (p<0.05). Anterior mandibular crowding was significantly greater for the bilateral ADDR group when compared to the group with no ADDR (p<0.05). Furthermore, there was a greater amount of anterior mandibular crowding for the bilateral ADDR group compared to the unilateral ADDR group (left TMJ) (p<0.05). Conclusions: Although multiple occlusal characteristics have been investigated in relationship to TMD, arch form has not been previously reported on. In the present study, a tapered arch form, anterior mandibular crowding and mandibular intercanine distance were significantly associated with ADDR. Although occlusal variables are unlikely to be the only contributing factor to TMD, their role should not be overlooked. The findings of this study suggest possible directions for future research.


Dentistry | Orthodontics and Orthodontology


Health and environmental sciences



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