Date: January 2023.
Source: Research Square. DOI: 10.21203/
Background: Facial symmetry severely affects appearance and function. Large numbers of patients seek orthodontic treatment to improve facial symmetry. However, the correlation between hard- and soft-tissue symmetry is still unclear. Our aim was to investigate the hard- and soft-tissue symmetry in subjects with different levels of menton deviation and sagittal skeletal classes with 3D digital analysis and to investigate the relationship between the entire and individual hard- and soft-tissues.
Methods: A total of 270 adults (135 males and 135 females) consisting of 45 subjects of each sex in each sagittal skeletal classification group. All subjects were further classified into relative symmetry (RS), moderate asymmetry (MA) and severe asymmetry (SA) groups based on the degree of menton deviation from the mid-sagittal plane (MSP). The 3D images were segmented into anatomical structures and mirrored across the MSP. Original and mirrored images were registered by a best-fit algorithm, and the corresponding root mean square (RMS) values and colormap were obtained. The Mann‒Whitney U test and Spearman correlation were conducted for statistical analysis.
Results: The RMS increased with greater deviations with regard to the deviation of the menton in most of anatomical structures. Asymmetry was represented in the same way regardless of sagittal skeletal pattern. The soft-tissue asymmetry had a significant correlation with dentition in the RS group (0.409), while in the SA group, it was related to the ramus (0.526) and corpus (0.417) in males and was related to the ramus in the MA (0.332) and SA (0.359) groups in females.
Conclusions: The mirroring method combining CBCT and 3dMD provides a new approach for symmetry analysis. Asymmetry might not be influenced by sagittal skeletal patterns. Soft-tissue asymmetry might be reduced by improving the dentition in individuals with RS group, while among those with MA or SA, whose menton deviation was larger than 2 mm, orthognathic treatment should be considered.

Article: 3-dimensional analysis of hard- and soft-tissue symmetry in a Chinese population.
Authors: J Zhao, Y Xu, J Wang, Z Lu, K Qi. Xi’an Jiaotong University and The Fourth Military Medical University, PR China.