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The aims of this study were to investigate whether the preferred facial relationship chosen by professionals and the general public is Class I and to ascertain whether viewing two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) images had any effect on the ranking of facial attractiveness. Orthodontists (n = 47), maxillofacial surgeons (n = 25) and members of the general public (n = 78) assessed 2D and 3D facial scans of two males and two females that had been morphed to produce five images reflecting different skeletal patterns: Class I, mild and moderate Class II, and mild and moderate Class III. Each assessor placed the images in rank order of preference, after viewing alternate 2D and 3D image formats for each face. The data were analysed using logistic regression. In 2D, professionals (orthodontists and maxillofacial surgeons) chose Class I as the preferred facial image more frequently than the general public for only one of the four faces. However, in 3D format they chose Class I as the preferred facial image for some subject faces more, and others less, frequently when compared with the general public. The gender of the assessor was not significant when assessing the preferred facial relationship for Class I images in either 2D or 3D formats. The oldest assessors (56+ years) were significantly less likely than the younger age groups to select Class I as the preferred facial relationship in both 2D and 3D. In summary, there was too great a degree of variation to say that a difference between 2D and 3D facial images was evident.

Original publication




Journal article


European journal of orthodontics

Publication Date





363 - 369


Orthodontic Unit, Eastman Dental Institute, University College London, UK.


Face, Jaw, Humans, Malocclusion, Observer Variation, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Cephalometry, Vertical Dimension, Esthetics, Dental, Beauty, Judgment, Age Factors, Reference Values, Students, Dental, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Adolescent, Adult, Middle Aged, Dentists