Three-dimensional assessment of dentofacial deformity in children with clefts
Background: Changes in clinical management; advances in non-invasive three-dimensional imaging; developments in methods of shape analysis. Aim: To assess three-dimensional dentofacial deformity with a view to early appraisal of primary surgical outcome. Results: Significant differences in upper lip morphology were found between the cleft children and their unaffected peers; nasal asymmetry that became more obvious in function was noted in cleft children; the maxillary dental arches of the children with repaired cleft palate were shallow, short and narrow; and the dental arch, deformity and the facial soft tissue deformity were unrelated. Contributions to the field: It has been shown that deviation from normal could be detected as young as 3 years of age using computerised stereophotogrammetry; preliminary, objective, three-dimensional analysis of facial function has been completed in young children; the accuracy of three-dimensional CT scanning of dentate study models and the time cost of data collection were quantified; and this study has produced a body of three-dimensional data that can test and support analytical advances.