To compare facial growth prediction models based on the partial least squares and artificial intelligence (AI).

Materials and Methods

Serial longitudinal lateral cephalograms from 410 patients who had not undergone orthodontic treatment but had taken serial cephalograms were collected from January 2002 to December 2022. On every image, 46 skeletal and 32 soft-tissue landmarks were identified manually. Growth prediction models were constructed using multivariate partial least squares regression (PLS) and a deep learning method based on the TabNet deep neural network incorporating 161 predictor, and 156 response, variables. The prediction accuracy between the two methods was compared.


On average, AI showed less prediction error by 2.11 mm than PLS. Among the 78 landmarks, AI was more accurate in 63 landmarks, whereas PLS was more accurate in nine landmarks, including cranial base landmarks. The remaining six landmarks showed no statistical difference between the two methods. Overall, soft-tissue landmarks, landmarks in the mandible, and growth in the vertical direction showed greater prediction errors than hard-tissue landmarks, landmarks in the maxilla, and growth changes in the horizontal direction, respectively.


PLS and AI methods seemed to be valuable tools for predicting growth. PLS accurately predicted landmarks with low variability in the cranial base. In general, however, AI outperformed, particularly for those landmarks in the maxilla and mandible. Applying AI for growth prediction might be more advantageous when uncertainty is considerable.

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Author notes


 Researcher, Department of Orthodontics, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


 Research Scientist, AI Research Center, DDH Inc, Seoul, Korea.


 Graduate Student (PhD), Department of Dental Sciences, Graduate School, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


 Clinical Lecturer, Department of Orthodontics, Seoul National University Dental Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


 Private Practice, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA.


 Professor, Department of Orthodontics and Dental Research Institute, School of Dentistry, Seoul National University Seoul, Korea.