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Advisory Committee Chair

Chung H Kau

Advisory Committee Members

Nada Souccar

Peter Waite

Amjad Javed

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Dentistry (MDent) School of Dentistry


Objectives: Treatment of older adults is one of the fastest growing areas in orthodontic practice. The objectives of this study are to: 1. Investigate the aging of the female African American face using three-dimensional surface imaging to understand how the soft tissue of the face matures in relation to the teeth and 2.) Compare the effects of aging on African American female faces to aging of Caucasian female faces. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of 100 African American females with balanced faces. Five age groups (in years) were included: [20-30], [31-40], [41-50], [51-60], [61-70]. Three-dimensional (3D) surface images of the face were taken using the 3dMD system (3dMDface, Atlanta, Ga). Twenty-eight soft tissue landmarks were plotted and their co-ordinates recorded using the Vultus software (3dMDface, Atlanta, Ga). Means and stand-ard deviations of distances from Nasion (origin) to all landmarks were calculated for each group and compared across the five age groups using an ANOVA test. Pairwise compari-sons utilizing Tukey's honest significance test (to account for multiple comparisons) were performed when the overall model ANOVA F-test was statistically significant. The mean distances between African-Americans and Caucasians were compared using Stu-dent's t-test. Results: Significant differences (p<0.05) by age groups were observed for the mean distances from Nasion to the soft tissue median points Pronasale, Subnasale, labiale superius, stomion, chin-throat point and the bilateral points Exocanthion, Orbitale, Alare, Subalare, Christi philtri, Cheilon and Zygion. Pairwise comparisons revealed that the differences were among those aged 51-60 or 61-70 years for all significant associa-tions. Conclusions: Soft tissue changes of the aging African American female face are most evident around the midface and the mouth after age 50. The midfacial landmarks and chin-throat distance are significantly more elongated in the African American group compared the Caucasian population. The norms established in this study might serve as quantitative references for treatment of adult orthodontic patients and comparison to oth-er races and genders.

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