Dental arch – The teeth are arranged in two dental arches and these two separate arches, the maxillary and the mandibular arches, align the human dentition. There are an equal number of teeth in the upper and lower arches.
The arrangement of the teeth is symmetrical in the right and the left halves in each arch. The teeth of one half of the jaw are exact mirror image of the other half. Thus in each Dental arch there are 10 deciduous teeth and 16 permanent teeth. In other words, each of four quadrants of the jaw will have 5 deciduous and 8 permanent teeth.
The maxillary arch is located in the upper portion of the oral cavity. The permanent dentition contains 16 teeth in each Dental arch, including two each of central, laterals, canines or cuspids, first and second premolars, and first, second, and third molars. The maxillary arch is firmly attached to the base of the skull. The mandibular Dental arch is located in the mandible or lower jaw.
In the mandibular Dental arch, the permanent dentition contains 16 teeth of the same variety as those found in the maxillary arch. The mandibular arch is movable through the lower jaw. The closing of the jaw causes the two arches to meet, allowing the chewing process to occur.
The arches can be further divided into quadrants. Each Dental arch contains two quadrants, a right and a left. The median line forms these quadrants. This line is a bisection starting between the central incisors and continuing straight back towards the posterior oral cavity, ending at the beginning of the oropharynx.
Each quadrant contains eight teeth—one central incisor, one lateral incisor, one canine or cuspid, two premolars, and three molars. There is a specific pattern formed as the jaw opens and closes called occlusion.
This pattern is formed when the maxillary and mandibular arches meet. Occlusion is made possible only by the ability of the lower jaw to move. The hinge, which makes such movement possible, is termed the temporomandibular joint Dental arch.