Recognition and treatment of craniofacial deformities require an understanding of complex skeletal structures in three planes of space. Traditional imaging techniques rely on biplanar radiographs which provide only two-dimensional data. The introduction of three-dimensional image display (3DIR) has provided a method of object analysis in three planes of space, obviating the need for mental reconstruction, and yielding more spatial information than was previously available. This study was undertaken to investigate the quantitative value of three-dimensional images compared with cephalometric techniques in assessing a craniofacial deformity. Metallic marker references were placed on a deformed skull. Measurements taken from cephalograms and three-dimensional images were compared with corresponding digitized and manual measurements taken from the skull. Three-dimensional image reformation provided a more accurate representation of the deformity than the cephalometric methods. Because all structural relationships are preserved in the CT data matrix, measurements are inherently accurate and reproducible. 3DIR offers dynamic advantages over cephalometric methods because data can be manipulated interactively. Further investigation is needed to study the importance of head position and to develop patient selection criteria, scan protocols, and surgical treatment planning algorithms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery