Outcome measurement in the correction of mandibular asymmetry

Edler, Raymond, Wertheim, David and Greenhill, Darrel (2004) Outcome measurement in the correction of mandibular asymmetry. American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, 125(4), pp. 435-443. ISSN (print) 0889-5406


This study related clinical assessments of the severity of mandibular asymmetry with computerized measurements, obtained by digitizing mandibular outlines from standardized facial photographs. Four ratios were calculated: area (size), compactness (shape), perimeter (length of outline), and moment (center of area). When comparing clinical severity with computer assessment, significant correlations were observed; those for area and compactness were the highest. Sixteen patients subsequently underwent corrective surgery, and their ratios were used to relate the degree of improvement to the original severity of the asymmetry. The posttreatment ratios were also used to audit the outcome, comparing the patients' scores as a group with results previously obtained from patients with normal symmetry and mild asymmetry. Posttreatment outcomes were significantly different from the normal outline group but were comparable with outcomes of patients with mild mandibular asymmetry. The system provided a sensitive, noninvasive method of assessing treatment change and could be useful in providing an objective means of quantifying treatment outcomes.

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