Three dimensional facial scanning is an innovation that provides opportunity for digital data acquisition, smile analysis and communication of treatment plan and outcome with patients.


To assess the applicability of 3D facial scanning as compared to 2D clinical photography.

Materials & Methods:

Sample consisted of thirty Caucasians aged between 25 and 50 years old, without any dentofacial deformities. Fifteen soft-tissue facial landmarks were identified twice by 3 observers on 2D and 3D images of the 30 subjects. Five linear proportions and nine angular measurements were established in the orbital, nasal and oral regions. These data were compared to anthropometric norms of young Caucasians. Furthermore, a questionnaire was completed by 14 other observers, according to their personal judgment of the 2D and 3D images.


Quantitatively, proportions linking the three facial regions in 3D were closer to the clinical standard (for 2D 3.3% and for 3D 1.8% error rate). Qualitatively, in 67% of the cases, observers were as confident about 3D as they were about 2D. Intra-observer Correlation Coefficient (ICC) revealed a better agreement between observers in 3D for the questions related to facial form, lip step and chin posture.


The laser facial scanning could be a useful and reliable tool to analyze the circumoral region for orthodontic and orthognathic treatments as well as for plastic surgery planning and outcome.

Keywords: 3D scanner, Face, 2D Photography, Soft-tissue analysis, Orthodontic and orthognathic treatments, Smile analysis.
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