3D-Geomorphometrics tooth shape analysis in hypodontia

Ibrahim Al-Shahrani, Wendy Dirks, Nicholas Jepson, Khaled Khalaf

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Assessment of tooth morphology is an important part of the diagnosis and management of hypodontia patients. Several techniques have been used to analyze tooth form in hypodontia patients and these have shown smaller tooth dimensions and anomalous tooth shapes in patients with hypodontia when compared with controls. However, previous studies have mainly used 2D images and provided limited information. In the present study, 3D surface-imaging and statistical shape analysis were used to evaluate tooth form differences between hypodontia and control patients. Eighteen anatomical landmarks were recorded on the clinical crown of the lower left first permanent molar of 3D scanned study models of hypodontia and control subjects. The study sample group comprised of 120 hypodontia patients (40 mild, 40 moderate, and 40 severe hypodontia patients) and 40 age- and sex-matched controls. Procrustes coordinates were utilized to scale and superimpose the landmark coordinate data and then were subjected to principal component analysis (PCA). Subsequently, differences in shape as well as size were tested statistically using allometric analysis and MANOVA. Significant interaction was found between the two factor variables "group" and "sex" (p < 0.002). Overall expected accuracies were 66 and 56% for females and males, respectively, in the cross-validated discriminant-analysis using the first 20 PCs. Hypodontia groups showed significant shape differences compared with the control subjects (p < 0.0001). Significant differences in tooth crown shape were also found between sexes (p < 0.0001) within groups. Furthermore, the degree of variation in tooth form was proportional to the degree of the severity of the hypodontia. Thus, quantitative measurement of tooth shape in hypodontia patients may enhance the multidisciplinary management of those patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Early online date23 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Date of Acceptance:: 31/03/2014

Copyright © 2014 Al-Shahrani, Dirks, Jepson and Khalaf. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

This research forms part of the first author's PhD project, funded by King Khalid University, College of Dentistry. We thank Andrea Cardini for assistance throughout the project and his helpful comments on an earlier version, as well as those of two reviewers, all of which improved the paper.


  • hypodontia
  • procrustes analysis
  • shape analysis
  • teeth


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