Lower Facial Height

Definition Length of the lower one-third of the craniofacies (Fig. 7.15).

Landmarks Measure from the base of the nose (subnasion) to the lowest median landmark on the lower border of the mandible (menton or gnathion). The menton is identified by palpation and is identical to the bony gnathion. (Figs 7.1 and 7.15a).

Instruments Tape-measure or spreading calipers.

Position Frankfort horizontal, with facial profile in the vertical. The mouth should be closed, with the teeth in occlusion.

Remarks This measurement can also be obtained from a lateral radiograph. The measurement is then taken from the anterior nasal spine (the pointed process extending from the nasal floor, formed by the meeting of both nasal margins at the midline) to the bony gnathion. Spreading calipers are used to measure this distance on a radiograph (Fig. 7.15b).

Pitfalls In comparing cephalometric with anthropometric data, one should remember that cephalometric data do not take into account soft tissue measurements. However, the data from both sources are surprisingly similar, and have been combined in Fig. 7.16.

In the presence of a mandibular abnormality such as a cleft, it may be difficult to obtain an accurate measurement of lower facial height. If the mouth is open, the lower facial height will be falsely increased.

Figure 7.15 Anthrometric (a) and cephalometric (b) measurement of lower facial height.

Figure 7.15 Anthrometric (a) and cephalometric (b) measurement of lower facial height.

Anterior nasal

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