Pilot study of facial soft tissue thickness differences among three skeletal classes in Japanese females

Forensic Sci Int. 2010 Feb 25;195(1-3):165.e1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2009.10.013. Epub 2009 Nov 25.


Facial reconstruction is a technique used in forensic anthropology to estimate the appearance of the antemortem face from unknown human skeletal remains. This requires accurate skull assessment (for variables such as age, sex, and race) and soft tissue thickness data. However, the skull can provide only limited information, and further data are needed to reconstruct the face. The authors herein obtained further information from the skull in order to reconstruct the face more accurately. Skulls can be classified into three facial types on the basis of orthodontic skeletal classes (namely, straight facial profile, type I, convex facial profile, type II, and concave facial profile, type III). This concept was applied to facial tissue measurement and soft tissue depth was compared in each skeletal class in a Japanese female population. Differences of soft tissue depth between skeletal classes were observed, and this information may enable more accurate reconstruction than sex-specific depth alone.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Cephalometry
  • Face / anatomy & histology*
  • Facial Bones / anatomy & histology*
  • Facial Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Forensic Anthropology / methods
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Pilot Projects
  • Radiography
  • Young Adult