Purpose: This study sought to geometrically evaluate the effect of a mandibular prosthesis on facial asymmetry in patients with one of two different types of mandibulectomy defect.
Methods: Facial data from 20 participants (9 men and 11 women; mean age 68 years) with either a reconstructed segmental defect (segmental group,n = 10) or a marginal mandibulectomy defect (marginal group, n =10) were acquired with a non-contact three-dimensional (3D) digitizer. Facial asymmetry was evaluated by superimposing a facial scan onto its mirror scan using 3D evaluation software. Facial scans with and without the mandibular prosthesis in place were also superimposed to evaluate the effect of the mandibular prosthesis.
Results: Facial asymmetry differed significantly between subjects with and without the prosthesis in the segmental group (P = 0.005) but not in the marginal group (P = 0.16). There was no significant difference in the effect of the prosthesis on facial appearance between the two groups (P = 0.052). The ratio of 3D deviation of facial asymmetry without the prosthesis and in the mirror scan with the prosthesis differed significantly between the two groups (P = 0.01).
Conclusions: Placement of a mandibular prosthesis has a notable effect on facial asymmetry in patients with segmental mandibulectomy defects.
Keywords: 3D deviation; Facial asymmetry; Geometrical evaluation; Mandibular prostheses; Mandibulectomy.