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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Odontostomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery
Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, Index to Dental Literature, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index




Minerva Stomatologica 2007 May;56(5):253-65

language: English, Italian

Two-dimensional vs three-dimensional assessment of soft tissue facial profile: a non invasive study in 6-year-old healthy children

Sforza C., Dimaggio F. R., Dellavia C., Grandi G., Ferrario V. F.

Functional Anatomy Research Center (FARC) Laboratory of Functional Anatomy of the Stomatognathic Apparatus (LAFAS) Department of Human Morphology Faculty of Medicine and Surgery University of Milan, Milan, Italy


Aim. In medical practice, the analysis of facial soft tissues often complement (or even supplement) the evaluation of the hard-tissue relationships. Current technology provides reference data in three dimensions, but clinical practice still uses two-dimensional photographs. In the current study, two-dimensional photographic and computerized, three-dimensional angles measured on the facial profile of children were compared.
Methods. Two-dimensional angular measurements (facial convexity including/excluding the nose; maxillary prominence; nasal prominence; nasolabial; mentolabial; maxillo-labio-mandibular; interlabial) were obtained on the facial profile photographs of 55 boys and 31 girls aged 6; measurements were compared to three-dimensional computerized data collected on 27 boys and 28 girls of the same age and ethnic group.
Results. On average, in boys, only the angles of facial convexity including the nose, interlabial, nasolabial and maxillo-labio-mandibular showed differences between the means larger than 2 degrees (up to 2.5 degrees). Statistically significant differences (P<0.05, Watson-Williams’ test) were found for the angle of facial convexity including the nose and the maxillary prominence angle. In girls, differences between the two methods larger than 2 degrees were found for the interlabial, maxillo-labio-mandibular (statistically significant), and mentolabial angles (differences up to 7 degrees, corresponding to 4% of the relevant mean).
Conclusion. The two-dimensional photographic and the three-dimensional computerized data compared in the current study, even not superimposable, seemed sufficiently interchangeable, at least from a clinical point of view. A particular attention should be given to the recording of lip position.

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