Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry
Research and Education| Volume 124, ISSUE 5, P567-574, November 2020

Accuracy (trueness and precision) of a dual-structured light facial scanner and interexaminer reliability


      Statement of problem

      Digital waxing procedures should be guided by facial references to improve the esthetic outcome of a restoration. The development of facial scanners has allowed the digitalization of the extraoral soft tissues of the patient’s face. However, the reliability of facial digitizers is questionable.


      The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy (trueness and precision) of extraoral 3D facial reconstructions performed by using a dual-structured light facial scanner and to measure the interexaminer variability.

      Material and methods

      Ten participants were included. Six soft-tissue landmarks were determined on each participant, specifically reference (Ref), glabella (Gb), subnasal (Sn), menton (Me), chelion right (ChR), and chelion left (ChL). Interlandmark distances Ref-Sn, Sn-Gb, Ref-Gb, Sn-Me, and ChR-ChL (intercommissural) were measured by 2 different operators by using 2 different methods: directly on the participant’ face (manual group) and digitally (digital group) on the 3D facial reconstruction of the participant (n=20). For the manual group, interlandmark measurements were made by using digital calipers. For the digital group, 10 three-dimensional facial reconstructions were acquired for each participant by using a dual-structured light facial scanner (Face Camera Pro Bellus; Bellus3D). Interlandmark measurements were made by using an open-source software program (Meshlab; Meshlab). Both operators were used to note 10 measurements for each manual and digital interlandmark distance per participant. The intraclass correlation coefficient between the 2 operators was calculated. The Shapiro-Wilk test revealed that the data were not normally distributed. The data were analyzed by using the Mann-Whitney U test.


      Significant differences were found between manual and digital interlandmark measurements in all participants. The mean value of the manual and digital group discrepancy was 0.91 ±0.32 mm. The dual-structured light facial scanner tested obtained a trueness mean value of 0.91 mm and a precision mean value of 0.32 mm. Trueness values were always higher than precision mean values, indicating that precision was relatively high. The intraclass correlation coefficient between the 2 operators was 0.99.


      The facial digitizing procedure evaluated produced clinically acceptable outcomes for virtual treatment planning. The interexaminer reliability between the 2 operators was rated as excellent, suggesting that the type of facial landmark used in this study provides reproducible results among different examiners.
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