ABSTRACT

Objectives

To use both absolute anteroposterior maxillary complex length (APMCL) and relative APMCL to investigate the relationship between the maxillary complex, its individual bony segments, and their association to the anterior cranial base. In addition, the relationship between length and position of the maxillary complex was analyzed.

Materials and Methods

Sixty human skulls were analyzed using cone beam computed tomography. The maxillary complex length was measured between anterior and posterior nasal spine (ans-pns), and the average was used as the cut-off to identify a high- and a low-length group based on absolute APMCL. The length ratio between the maxillary complex and the anterior cranial base (ans-pns/SN) was used to identify the two groups based on relative APMCL. The anterior cranial base length and the lengths of the maxillary complex bones were compared between the high- and low-length groups.

Results

Based on absolute APMCL, individuals with shorter maxillary complex had shorter anterior cranial base (P = .003), representing normal proportions. Based on relative APMCL, individuals with shorter maxillary complex had longer anterior cranial base and vice versa (P = .014), indicating disproportions. Individuals with shorter maxillary complex exhibited shorter maxilla (Δ = −1.5 mm, P = .014).

Conclusions

When skeletal deformity of the midface is suspected, individual disproportions in the anteroposterior length of the maxillary complex in relation to the anterior cranial base (relative measurements) should be assessed through radiological imaging. A shorter maxillary complex may be associated with a shorter maxilla, and not with a shorter premaxilla or palatine bone.

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Author notes

a

Postgraduate Student, Orthodontics, Dental School, Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiological Sciences and Public Health, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

b

Assistant Professor, Dental Materials Science, Division of Applied Oral Sciences & Community Dental Care, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Prince Philip Dental Hospital, Hong Kong S.A.R.

c

Professor, Dental Materials Science, Division of Applied Oral Sciences & Community Dental Care, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Prince Philip Dental Hospital, Hong Kong S.A.R.

d

Tutor, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Division of Applied Oral Sciences & Community Dental Care, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Prince Philip Dental Hospital, Hong Kong S.A.R.

e

Clinical Assistant Professor, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Division of Applied Oral Sciences & Community Dental Care, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Prince Philip Dental Hospital, Hong Kong S.A.R.

f

Professor and Dean, Orthodontics, Dental School, Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiological Sciences and Public Health, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

g

Honorary Professor, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Division of Applied Oral Sciences & Community Dental Care, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Prince Philip Dental Hospital, Hong Kong S.A.R.: and Department of Oral Health & Medicine, University Center of Dental Medicine Basel UZB, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.