Craniofacial growth and skeletal maturation: a mixed longitudinal study

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SUMMARYThe purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between craniofacial growth and skeletal maturation. The material consisted of the cephalometric and hand-wrist film pairs of 35 males and 43 females (78 subjects) whose development was followed for a period of 4 to 7 years. The subjects were grouped according to their skeletal maturation. Their mean ages were: Group I 10.27, Group II 11.55, and Group III 14.79 years, respectively, at the beginning of the observation period. Intra- and inter-group differences were examined through paired t-tests, and Pearson correlation analysis was used to detect the relationship between craniofacial growth and skeletal maturation (percentage growth potential).The results show that the middle cranial base (T–W) maintained its stability in all pubertal growth periods. However, posterior cranial base length (T–Ba) increases significantly (P < 0.001) throughout the same period. There were similar increases in the vertical dimensions of the face and alveolar height throughout pubertal growth. Despite the intensified increases in both the sagittal and vertical directions, facial characteristics were constant in the sagittal direction.The skeletal development (percentage growth potential) has clearly been effective in the vertical facial development commencing in Group I and reaching its maximum level in Group II. However Cd–Go was the exception.

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