Three-Dimensional Inclination of the Dental Axes in Healthy Permanent Dentitions - A Cross-Sectional Study in a Normal Population

Virgilio F. Ferrario, Chiarella Sforza, Anna Colombo, Veronica Ciusa, Graziano Serrao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 3-dimensional (3-D) inclination of the facial axis of the clinical crown (FACC) and the size of the clinical crowns were measured in 100 white northern Italians. The subjects consisted of 22 girls and 21 boys, ages 13-15 years (adolescents), and 31 women and 26 men, ages 16-26 years (adults), all with a complete permanent dentition and Class I dental relationships. The 3-D coordinates of dental landmarks were obtained with a computerized electromagnetic digitizer. Clinical crowns heights and FACC inclinations in the anatomical frontal and sagittal planes relative to 2 reference planes, maxillary and mandibular (between the incisive papilla and the intersection of the palatal/lingual sulci of the first permanent molars with the gingival margin), were calculated. Ages and sexes were compared by ANOVA. On average, the frontal plane FACCs of most teeth converged toward the midline plane of symmetry. In contrast, the incisors diverged from the midline plane or were nearly vertical. Within each quadrant, the inclinations of the postincisor teeth progressively increased. In the sagittal plane, most teeth had a nearly vertical FACC. FACC inclinations showed sex- and age-related differences (P <.05). In the frontal plane, the canines, premolars, and molars were more inclined in adolescents than in adults. In the sagittal plane, a large within-group variability was observed. Clinical crown height was significantly larger in males than in females in all maxillary and mandibular canines, premolars, second molars, maxillary central incisors, and first molars. With age, some degree of dental eruption was found in maxillary and mandibular canines, maxillary second premolars, and molars. The age-related decrease in FACC inclination may be the effect of a progressive buccal and mesial drift.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-264
Number of pages8
JournalAngle Orthodontist
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2001


  • Clinical crowns
  • Development
  • Facial axis
  • Facial axis of the clinical crown
  • Growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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