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Components of soft tissue deformations in subjects with untreated angle's Class III malocclusions: thin-plate spline analysis



Components of soft tissue deformations in subjects with untreated angle's Class III malocclusions: thin-plate spline analysis



Journal of Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology 18(4): 219-227



While the dynamics of maxillo-mandibular allometry associated with treatment modalities available for the management of Class III malocclusions currently are under investigation, developmental aberration of the soft tissues in untreated Class III malocclusions requires specification. In this study, lateral cephalographs of 124 prepubertal European-American children (71 with untreated Class III malocclusion; 53 with Class I occlusion) were traced, and 12 soft-tissue landmarks digitized. Resultant geometries were scaled to an equivalent size and mean Class III and Class I configurations compared. Procrustes analysis established statistical difference (P < 0.001) between the mean configurations. Comparing the overall untreated Class III and Class I configurations, thin-plate spline (TPS) analysis indicated that both affine and non-affine transformations contribute towards the deformation (total spline) of the averaged Class III soft tissue configuration. For non-affine transformations, partial warp 8 had the highest magnitude, indicating large-scale deformations visualized as a combination of columellar retrusion and lower labial protrusion. In addition, partial warp 5 also had a high magnitude, demonstrating upper labial vertical compression with antero-inferior elongation of the lower labio-mental soft tissue complex. Thus, children with Class III malocclusions demonstrate antero-posterior and vertical deformations of the maxillary soft tissue complex in combination with antero-inferior mandibular soft tissue elongation. This pattern of deformations may represent gene-environment interactions, resulting in Class III malocclusions with characteristic phenotypes, that are amenable to orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedic manipulations.

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Accession: 045608143

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PMID: 10100051


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