Three-dimensional analysis of normal facial morphologies of Asians and whites: A novel method of quantitative analysis

Academic Article


  • Background: The purpose of this study is to compare 3-dimensional facial averages of Asians (Koreans and Chinese) and Houstonian white faces using a (3-dimen-sional) surface imaging system. Methods: Three-dimensional images of Korean adults (Seoul, Korea) with class I malocclusion captured using the 3dMDface. The images of 138 Koreans were processed to generate average male and female facial shells using Rapidform 2006 plus pack 2 software and then superimposed and compared with the average shells of Chinese adults (Xi’ An, China) and white adults (Houston, Tex.). Results: The average Korean male and female faces were wider with prominent malar and zygomatic areas when compared with the white faces. The average white male and female faces showed more protrusion in the glabella, nasion, rhinion, and the soft-tissue pogonion than the Korean faces. The average Korean male face was retrusive at masseteric region while having more prominent lips, nasal tip, and supraglabella than the Chinese counterpart. The average Korean female face was narrower than the average Chinese female face, but there was more protrusion in the periorbital, nasal tip, and malar region seen in the Korean female face. Conclusions: Although the average faces of Chinese and Korean populations in this study showed remarkable similarities, there were distinct differences seen in the facial morphology of the 2 Asian groups. Three-dimensional imaging can be effectively used to establish population facial norms and to quantify the variations seen between different ethnicities. This information may be used in the clinical environment for plastic, oral, and maxillofacial surgery and orthodontics.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kim JY; Kau CH; Christou T; Ovsenik M; Park YG
  • Volume

  • 4
  • Issue

  • 9