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. 1997;158(4):266-73.
doi: 10.1159/000147939.

Asymmetry of Normal Mandibular Condylar Shape

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Asymmetry of Normal Mandibular Condylar Shape

V F Ferrario et al. Acta Anat (Basel). .

Abstract

Morphological studies of the facial skeleton in human beings are usually made from radiographs (frontal and lateral projections and orthopantomographs). The conventional linear and angular measurements provide quantitative information only about size, and fail to define the shape and form of the skeletal features and their variations. Mathematical methods such as the Fourier series allow a correct quantitative analysis of the shape and its variations. The outlines of the mandibular condyles in the orthopantomographs of 20 men and 20 women (mean age 29 years) were traced and digitized. All subjects had a good dentition, no temporomandibular joint problems, and were referred to a dental surgery for periodontal problems. A Fourier analysis of the outlines was performed. Fourier coefficients and reconstructed outlines were compared to analyze the condylar symmetry of shape on an intra- and intersubject basis. A significant condylar asymmetry for shape as distinct from size was found on an intrasubject basis, i.e. the left and right condyles of a single individual had a different shape with a large interindividual variability. Conversely, the mean condyle shape of the male and female groups was symmetric.

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