Format of Original
Journal of the World Federation of Orthodontists
Background: The objective of this study is to determine if facial soft tissue measurements using digital calipers can be reliably taken by the same examiner and by a large group of examiners.
Materials and Methods: Ten examiners performed a set of 18 in-clinic measurements on 10 female and 10 male dental students using a digital caliper twice over a 3-week period. The intra-class correlation coefficient and the Shrout-Fleiss method were used for the statistical analysis.
Results: Anthropometric intra-examiner reliability was high for all measurements (none fell below R = 0.934). However, inter-examiner reliability exhibited a wide range of values, some reliable (nasal width at widest nostrils [R = 0.922] and subnasale to upper lip [R = 0.926]), and others unreliable [base of nose (R = 0.590), mouth height (R = 0.585), and soft tissue B point to gnathion (R = 0.623)].
Conclusions: Soft tissue measurements of clearly identifiable points measured by the same examiner produced highly consistent, accurate and reliable measurements. Soft tissue points with poor definition resulted in average-to-poor reliabilities measurements.