Three-dimensional longitudinal evaluation of facial mimicry in orthognathic class III surgery

F. Cullati, F. M.E. Rusconi, A. Mapelli, M. Zago, G. A. Beltramini, A. B. Giannì, C. Sforza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of bimaxillary orthognathic surgery on facial mimicry was assessed longitudinally in 15 patients with dentoskeletal class III facial dysmorphism (seven men, eight women, mean age 28 years). The patients were analysed pre-surgery and at 6, 12, and 24 months post-surgery while performing verbal (five vowels) and non-verbal (open and closed mouth smile, lip purse) soft tissue facial movements. The three-dimensional motions of right and left nasogenian, crista philtri, cheilion, and lower lip landmarks were detected by an optoelectronic instrument, and a total mobility index was obtained. Differences between the sides were quantified by the symmetry index. Patient values were compared to those collected previously from healthy volunteers by computing z-scores. On average, no significant differences were found in the mobility of the buccal soft tissues at 24 months after surgery (ANOVA P-value, range 0.075–0.808), with positive median z-scores (pooled mean value close to 0.6). Symmetry indices ranged around the control reference values, showing no stage-related differences (Friedman test P-value, range 0.252–0.937), and exceeding 90% for all movements at 24 months after surgery. Bimaxillary osteotomy does not compromise facial mimicry in either verbal or non-verbal facial movements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-363
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • mimicry
  • motion capture
  • orthognathic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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