Journal Article

The assessment of facial variation in 4747 British school children

Arshed M. Toma, Alexei I. Zhurov, Rebecca Playle, David Marshall, Paul L. Rosin and Stephen Richmond

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 34, issue 6, pages 655-664
Published in print December 2012 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
The assessment of facial variation in 4747 British school children

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The aim of this study is to identify key components contributing to facial variation in a large population-based sample of 15.5-year-old children (2514 females and 2233 males).

The subjects were recruited from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Three-dimensional facial images were obtained for each subject using two high-resolution Konica Minolta laser scanners. Twenty-one reproducible facial landmarks were identified and their coordinates were recorded. The facial images were registered using Procrustes analysis. Principal component analysis was then employed to identify independent groups of correlated coordinates.

For the total data set, 14 principal components (PCs) were identified which explained 82 per cent of the total variance, with the first three components accounting for 46 per cent of the variance. Similar results were obtained for males and females separately with only subtle gender differences in some PCs.

Facial features may be treated as a multidimensional statistical continuum with respect to the PCs. The first three PCs characterize the face in terms of height, width, and prominence of the nose. The derived PCs may be useful to identify and classify faces according to a scale of normality.

Journal Article.  5062 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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