Size and shape of soft-tissue facial profile: effects of age, gender, and skeletal class

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 1997 Nov;34(6):498-504. doi: 10.1597/1545-1569_1997_034_0498_sasost_2.3.co_2.


Objective: A method for the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the facial soft-tissue profile has been developed, and applied to analyze the pretreatment lateral head films of 240 orthodontic patients aged 8 to 14 years.

Methods: Patients were subdivided for sex, age, and skeletal class. To standardize for different facial sizes, soft-tissue profiles from nasion to pogonion were traced in polar coordinates without modifications of facial shape, and standardized for an equal skeletal vertical dimension.

Results: The method allowed a simple and rapid quantitative evaluation of soft-tissue profiles during facial growth. An approximate evaluation of the soft-tissue thickness at nose, lips, and chin was also possible. No particular mathematical knowledge was required at any step of the analysis.

Conclusions: Facial soft-tissue size and shape were influenced by age and sex, and to a minor extent by skeletal class.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aging / pathology*
  • Cephalometry
  • Child
  • Chin / anatomy & histology
  • Face / anatomy & histology*
  • Facial Bones / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lip / anatomy & histology
  • Male
  • Malocclusion / classification
  • Malocclusion / pathology
  • Malocclusion / therapy
  • Mandible / anatomy & histology
  • Maxilla / anatomy & histology
  • Maxillofacial Development
  • Nasal Bone / anatomy & histology
  • Nose / anatomy & histology
  • Orthodontics, Corrective
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Vertical Dimension