Three-dimensional analysis of facial morphology surface changes in untreated children from 12 to 14 years of age

Academic Article


  • Introduction: The developing face is of interest to orthodontists, especially if orthodontic treatment can influence the outcome of facial growth. New 3-dimensional (3D) modalities have enabled clinicians to better understand the facial changes in a developing child. Methods: Fifty-nine children with normal body mass indexes were evaluated with a previously validated 3D laser imaging device over a 2-year period. Surface changes were evaluated on normal and average faces. These changes were seen as mean surface changes and color maps. Results: The results suggest that the surface areas of change in average faces were generally downward and forward with respect to the nose and soft-tissue nasion. The lips also translated in a downward direction as the nose grew, and there was a general increase in the vertical dimension. Some subjects were in the "great changes" category, boys significantly more so than girls. Conclusions: The following conclusions can be made from this 3D study of changes of facial morphology in children: (1) surface changes are greater in boys than in girls; (2) differences in the timing of surface changes in boys and girls are clinically significant, with boys exhibiting more changes later; (3) positive surface changes occur in the nose, brows, lips, and vertical dimensions of the face; (4) the eyes deepen, and the cheeks become flatter; and (5) 3D imaging is a useful tool in analyzing changes to the face over time. © 2008 American Association of Orthodontists.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 18771960
  • Author List

  • Kau CH; Richmond S
  • Start Page

  • 751
  • End Page

  • 760
  • Volume

  • 134
  • Issue

  • 6