Creation of the Virtual Patient for the Study of Facial Morphology

Author: Chung How Kau, Department of Orthodontics, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Source: 3D Imaging Technologies for Facial Plastic Surgery, Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America, Volume 19, Number 4, Pages 615-622, Nov 2011.

The author provides an overview of the new imaging technologies that allow the practitioner to accurately capture the patient’s soft tissue facial morphology and underlying bones and teeth, including details of dental model integration. This article describes how a virtual patient is created and manipulated and the practical use of this technology. It takes the quantification of the 3D surface further by proposing a reference framework of landmarks of craniofacial structure that can be used for comparison of surgical change, growth, gender, and phenotype.

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