Correlations between cephalometric and photographic measurements of facial attractiveness in Chinese and US patients after orthodontic treatment.Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2009 Dec; 136(6):762.e1-14; discussion 762-3.AJ
Orthodontists rely on esthetic judgments from facial photographs. Concordance between estimates of facial attractiveness made from lateral cephalograms and those made from clinical photographs has not been determined. We conducted a preliminary examination to correlate clinicians' rankings of facial attractiveness from standardized end-of-treatment facial photographs (Photo Attractiveness Rank) with cephalometric measurements of facial attractiveness made for the same subjects at the same time.
Forty-five Chinese and US orthodontic clinicians ranked end-of-treatment photographs of separate samples of 45 US and 48 Chinese adolescent patients for facial attractiveness. Separately for each sample, the photographic rankings were correlated with the values of 21 conventional hard- and soft-tissue measures from lateral cephalograms taken at the same visits as the photographs.
Among US patients, higher rank for facial attractiveness on the photographs was strongly associated with higher values for profile angle, chin prominence, lower lip prominence, and Z-angle, and also with lower values for angle of convexity, H-angle, and ANB. Among Chinese patients, higher rank for facial attractiveness on the photographs was strongly associated with higher values for Z-angle and chin prominence, and also with lower values for angle of convexity, H-angle, B-line to upper lip, and mandibular plane angle. Chinese patients whose %lower face height values approximated the ethnic "ideal" (54%) tended to rank higher for facial attractiveness than patients with either higher or lower values for %lower face height. The absolute values of the correlations for the 7 US measures noted above ranged from 0.41 to 0.59; those of the 7 Chinese measures ranged from 0.39 to 0.49.The P value of the least statistically significant of these 14 correlations was 0.006, unadjusted for multiple comparisons. On the other hand, many cephalometric measures believed by clinicians to be indicators of facial attractiveness failed to correlate with facial attractiveness rank for either ethnicity at even the P <0.05 level, including SN-pogonion angle, lower incisor to mandibular plane angle, and Wits appraisal.
In general, there was less association than expected or desired between objective measurements on the lateral cephalograms and clinicians' rankings of facial attractiveness on sets of clinical photographs.