Method: Digital photographs for 139 females (68 cases, 71 controls) and 59 males (31 cases, 28 controls) were analyzed using both linear metrics and 2D-coordinate landmark-based geometric morphometrics (GM) to compare dental esthetics and deviations from “golden proportions” between cases and controls. Differences in central incisor and anterior connector height proportions were evaluated using paired T-tests. Anterior tooth shapes, angulations, and gingival margin heights were examined using GM techniques.
Result: Female cases had significantly (p<0.05) wider central incisors, more square anterior tooth shapes, increased inward (towards the upper midline) dental angulations, and more unaesthetic gingival margin height configurations compared to female controls. Male cases also displayed increased inward dental angulations and a tendency for unaesthetic gingival margin height configurations.
Conclusion: Significant differences in anterior dental morphology were found between cases and controls, with controls displaying a more ideal dental morphology than the cases for most evaluated measures. The identification of these distinct dental features in carriers of NSCL/P genetic risk factors further characterizes the phenotypic spectrum of NSCL/P which can enhance the power of genetic studies.
Keywords: Cleft lip-palate, Digital image analysis, Microesthetics and Teeth