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Journal of Craniofacial Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e31822e8ca0
Original Articles

Measuring Progressive Soft Tissue Change With Nasoalveolar Molding Using a Three-dimensional System

Simanca, Erika DDS*; Morris, David MD†‡; Zhao, Linping PhD‡§; Reisberg, David DDS∥; Viana, Grace MSc¶

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Abstract

Background: For craniofacial orthodontics and surgery to progress, accurate temporal evaluation of soft tissue and skeletal change with treatment is necessary. Evolution in three-dimensional imaging eliminates certain inherent challenges in making such measurements in infants with facial clefts.

Objective: The aim of this pilot study was to measure progressive three-dimensional changes in nasal form in a series of infants with facial clefts during the course of presurgical nasoalveolar molding.

Materials and Methods: In 5 infants with unrepaired cleft lip and palate, three-dimensional photographs were obtained using the 3dMD system (3dMD, Inc, Atlanta, GA) at 2-week intervals during nasoalveolar molding treatment. Using the 3dMD Vultus software, temporal soft tissue changes were evaluated quantitatively based on three-dimensional linear measurements of 3 landmarks in the nasal area and qualitative changes in the surface shell.

Results: Increase in columellar length on the cleft side and decrease of the nostril floor on the noncleft side were observed in all subjects. Progressive changes were observed most significantly in week 4 (T3) into treatment.

Conclusions: This pilot study describes an approach using the 3dMD photo system with Vultus software for measuring the progressive change in the nasal soft tissues. The 3dMD system was believed to be valuable for facial analysis in this setting.

© 2011 Mutaz B. Habal, MD

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