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A network approach to orthodontic diagnosis

Auconi, Pietro and Caldarelli, Guido and Scala, Antonio and Ierardo, Gaetano and Polimeni, Antonella A network approach to orthodontic diagnosis. Orthodontics and Craniofacial Research, 14 (4). pp. 189-197. ISSN 1601-6335 (2011)

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Background –  Network analysis, a recent advancement in complexity science, enables understanding of the properties of complex biological processes characterized by the interaction, adaptive regulation, and coordination of a large number of participating components. Objective –  We applied network analysis to orthodontics to detect and visualize the most interconnected clinical, radiographic, and functional data pertaining to the orofacial system. Materials and Methods –  The sample consisted of 104 individuals from 7 to 13 years of age in the mixed dentition phase without previous orthodontic intervention. The subjects were divided according to skeletal class; their clinical, radiographic, and functional features were represented as vertices (nodes) and links (edges) connecting them. Results –  Class II subjects exhibited few highly connected orthodontic features (hubs), while Class III patients showed a more compact network structure characterized by strong co-occurrence of normal and abnormal clinical, functional, and radiological features. Restricting our analysis to the highest correlations, we identified critical peculiarities of Class II and Class III malocclusions. Conclusions –  The topology of the dentofacial system obtained by network analysis could allow orthodontists to visually evaluate and anticipate the co-occurrence of auxological anomalies during individual craniofacial growth and possibly localize reactive sites for a therapeutic approach to malocclusion.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1601-6343.2011.01523.x
Uncontrolled Keywords: class II and class III malocclusions; craniofacial topology; network analysis
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
R Medicine > RK Dentistry
Research Area: Economics and Institutional Change
Depositing User: Ms T. Iannizzi
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2012 13:18
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2012 13:18
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/1195

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