Facial reconstruction techniques used in forensic anthropology are based on mean soft tissue thickness measurements. Numerous studies of facial tissue thickness in adults have been published on a range of subjects from different ancestral backgrounds. Data on facial thickness in children derive primarily from Caucasoid, African-American, and Hispanic subjects. There are limited data from the few studies of Japanese children (male: skeletal class I only; female: all skeletal classes). The author has previously reported facial tissue thickness data for Japanese girls and boys with skeletal class I and for all three skeletal classes in Japanese girls. The present study reports facial soft tissue thickness data in Japanese children of all skeletal classes, within age subsets. With parental informed consent, diagnostic lateral cephalometric X-ray images were obtained from 339 Japanese children aged 7-18 years (male: 162; female: 177) who attended the Matsumoto Dental University Department of Orthodontics to undergo orthodontic treatment. Soft tissue and skeletal features were traced onto acetate sheets from the X-ray images, and 10 anthropological landmarks on the midsagittal line were measured. Means, SDs, and ranges were then calculated. Differences between male and female measurements in six age groups were compared using t-tests. Significant differences were observed at some landmarks in each age group. The findings were compared with data from other juvenile populations.
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