Discovering Craniofacial Patterns Using Multivariate Cephalometric Data for Treatment Decision Making in Orthodontics

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Pamela Araya-Díaz; Gonzalo A. Ruz & Hernán M. Palomino


The aim was to find craniofacial morphology patterns in a multivariate cephalometric database using a clustering technique. Cephalometric analysis was performed in a sample of 100 teleradiographs collected from Chilean orthodontic patients. Thirty cephalometric measurements were taken from commonly used analysis. The computed variables were used to perform a clustering analysis with the k-means algorithm to identify patterns of craniofacial morphology. The J48 decision tree was used to analyze each cluster, and the ANOVA test to determine the statistical differences between the clusters. Four clusters were found that had significant differences (P<0.001) in 24 of the 30 variables studied, suggesting that they represent different patterns of craniofacial form. Using the decision tree, 8 of the 30 variables appeared to be relevant for describing the clusters. The clustering analysis is effective in identifying different craniofacial patterns based on a multivariate database. The distinct clusters appear to be caused by differences in the compensation process of the facial structure responding to a genetically determined cranial and mandible form. The proposed method can be applied to several databases, creating specific classifications for each one of them.

KEY WORDS: Craniofacial patterns; Morphological patterns; Clustering technique; Orthodontics.

How to cite this article

ARAYA-DÍAZ, P.; RUZ, G. A. & PALOMINO, H. M. Discovering craniofacial patterns using multivariate cephalometric data for treatment decision making in orthodontics. Int. J. Morphol., 31(3):1109-1115, 2013.