To date, little work has been done with 3D imaging tools in the analysis of the facial morphologies of various populations. This study investigates the facial morphologies of subjects from three different populations.
Methods: Three uniquely distinct groups of each 100 subjects (Dutch, Egyptian and Texan) were included in this study. A questionnaire was used to determine racial type, age, gender, weight and length.
3D photographs (3D stereophotogrammetry) were collected for 100 subjects per group. After acquisition, all faces per subgroup were superimposed on top of each other and a male and female average face was computed for each subgroup. Different average faces could be compared by calculating color histograms of the differences. These were analyzed and linear mean differences were computed.
Results: Absolute linear differences among average faces of the subgroups ranged from 0.55 mm (between the average Dutch and Texan female faces) to 1.39 mm (between the average Dutch male and female faces). Similarities between the subgroups ranged from 21.38% between Texan male and female face to 58.22% between the Dutch and Texan female average faces. The variation between the male and female average faces was mainly visible in the area of the malar bones and the nose.
Conclusion: Average faces can be efficiently and effectively created from a sample of three-dimensional faces. Studies such as this one, can help to formulate a normative database for different populations. Such a database can be used in the planning of orthognathic surgery as well as orthodontic treatment.
Conflict of interest: None declared.