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3D Orofacial Imaging Laboratory

Our Research

The need for three dimensional (3D) morphometric methods to analyze the craniofacial morphology has been discussed for decades. However, the use of 3D images for longitudinal growth, temporary skeletal anchorage, and post-surgical assessments required development of appropriate quantitative methodologies, the ability to register multiple images based on structures that do not change with growth or treatment, and validation of these methods.

Current Projects:

Craniofacial Asymmetry

Facial asymmetry includes a spectrum of malformations that result from maxillary and/or mandibular hypoplasia or hyperplasia (under- or over-development of the mandible) of the affected side of the face. Facial asymmetry is common and often poses a challenge in craniofacial diagnosis and treatment planning. The wide variability in the etiology and the presentation of the disease makes proper assessment and quantification of the differences between the right and left sides crucial for diagnosis, treatment planning, and follow up.

© Image obtained from Alhadidi et. al "3D quantification of mandibular asymmetry using the SPHARM-PDM tool box." Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg. 2012 Mar;7(2):265-71. doi: 10.1007/s11548-011-0665-2. Epub 2011 Nov 17.

Orthognathic Surgery

Craniofacial deformity occurs in around 5% of the US population, and 1-2% have a deformity severe enough to be disabling and stigmatizing. Individuals with craniofacial deformities experience speech and masticatory problems as a result of their condition. Correction of these deformities using orthognathic surgery involves careful repositioning the jaws, due to the unique features of each patient's deformity. In this project, we do assessment of skeletal discrepancies, treatment planning and outcomes based in Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) generated 3D models of craniofacial bones.

© Image obtained from Paniagua et al. "Outcome quantification using SPHARM-PDM toolbox in orthognathic surgery" Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg. 2011 Sep;6(5):617-26. doi: 10.1007/s11548-010-0539-z. Epub 2010 Dec 16.

Bone Anchored Maxillary Protraction

Conventional treatment for young Class III patients involves extraoral devices designed to either protract the maxilla or restrain mandibular growth. The use of skeletal anchorage offers a promising alternative to obtain orthopedic results with fewer dental compensations. This project aims to evaluate 3-dimensional changes in the mandibles and the glenoid fossae of Class III patients treated with bone-anchored maxillary protraction.

© Image obtained from DeClerck et al. "Three-dimensional assessment of mandibular and glenoid fossa changes after bone-anchored Class III intermaxillary traction." Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2012 Jul;142(1):25-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2012.01.017.

Inferior Alveolar Nerve Canal Detection

It is an important issue to find the relationship between the distance of inferior alveolar nerve canal and fixation screws during a mandibular osteotomy and patients' sensation change. We proposed a 3D imaging based quantitative measure method to determine the distance between the inferior alveolar nerve canal and the fixation screws and find its relationship to patients' sensation alteration.

3D renderings for a subject who reported substantial sensory loss 1 yr after surgery on the left side of the chin but not the right. (a) On the right side the screws were a minimum of 1Æ9 mm above the canal, while (b) and (c) show that on the left side, one of the fixation screws was placed through the canal. © Image obtained from from Phillips C, Essick G. Inferior alveolar nerve injury following orthognathic surgery: a review of assessment issues. J Oral Rehab 2011 38: 547-554.

© Image obtained from from Phillips C, Essick G. Inferior alveolar nerve injury following orthognathic surgery: a review of assessment issues. J Oral Rehab 2011 38: 547-554.

Dental Research Imaging Tools Development and Dissemination

The availability of powerful and affordable computers and the advances of Computer Science have the potential to make a big impact on the practice of dentistry. Medical Image Computing (MIC) is the applied area of Computer science that develops computational and mathematical methods for solving problems pertaining to medical images and their use for biomedical research and clinical care. We work in creating and disseminating open source tools for the computation of imaging biomarkers from medical images in the dentistry field.

  © Image property of the 3D Orofacial Imaging Laboratory. Do not copy without permission.