A contact-free volumetric measurement of facial volume after third molar osteotomy: proof of concept

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2014 Jan;117(1):e51-6. doi: 10.1016/j.oooo.2012.03.036. Epub 2012 Aug 30.


Objective: The present study tested the reliability of an optical scanning device for the objective assessment of postoperative facial swelling.

Study design: Twenty control subjects bearing a defined volume of water (10-30 mL) in an intraorally carried balloon were tested to assess the measurement accuracy of the device. As a proof of concept, facial volumes of 59 surgical cases were recorded before osteotomy and 1 and 7 days after intervention with the use of a structured light scanner.

Results: The median difference between the applied and the measured volumes was 0.67 mL for the control test with the artificial swelling simulated using water balloons. For subjects having third molar osteotomy, extraoral volume increased to 5.29 cm(3) 1 day after surgery (95% CI 5.22-8.52) and decreased to 0.00 mL (95% CI 0.85-2.55) after 7 days.

Conclusions: Contact-free visible-light 3-dimensional scanning is reliable for the objective assessment of postoperative facial swelling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Face / anatomy & histology
  • Face / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Male
  • Molar, Third / surgery*
  • Osteotomy / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications / pathology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tooth Extraction / adverse effects*
  • Tooth, Impacted / surgery*