Vertical dimension

This dimension gives some indication of the degree of overbite. The vertical dimension is usually measured in terms of facial height and the shorter the anterior facial height the more likely it is that the patient will have a deep over-bite. Conversely the longer the facial height the more the patient is likely to have an anterior open bite. Deep overbites associated with a short anterior facial height and open bites with long face heights are difficult to correct with orthodontics alone. The greater the skeletal difference the more likely it is that the patient will need a combination of orthodontics and orthognathic surgery to correct the occlusion and the underlying skeletal discrepancy.

Vertical Dimension Occlusion
50%

Assessment of facial proportions. The upper and lower anterior face heights should be approximately equal

Short Lower Face Deep Overbite

Fig. 5 Profile of a patient with a much reduced lower anterior facial height

Fig. 6 Occlusion of the patient shown in Figure 5. The reduced lower anterior face height is often associated with a deep bite as shown

Fig. 5 Profile of a patient with a much reduced lower anterior facial height

Fig. 6 Occlusion of the patient shown in Figure 5. The reduced lower anterior face height is often associated with a deep bite as shown

There are various ways of measuring the vertical dimension, one of the most common is to measure the Frankfort Mandibular Planes Angle. This is not a very easy clinical angle to measure and the problem is compounded by the fact that not many clinicians can identify the Frankfort Plane correctly. A more practical way of assessing this is simply to measure the vertical dimension as indicated in Figure 4.

The lower anterior facial height is the distance from the base of the chin to the base of the nose. The upper anterior facial height is the distance from the base of the nose to a point roughly between the eyebrows. These dimensions can be measured with a ruler although the index finger and thumb will do almost as well. The lower and upper facial heights are usually equal. If the lower anterior facial height is reduced, as illustrated in Figure 5, this can result in a deep overbite that can be difficult to correct (Fig. 6). Conversely, if the lower anterior facial height is greater than 50% this can produce an anterior open-bite (Fig. 7).

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  • belladonna goodbody
    How to measure lower anterior face height?
    8 years ago

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