(Received 15 February 2003; accepted 14 February 2003)
Published Online: July
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It has been suggested that inter-canine width plus 57% of the cumulative distance between the lateral aspect of the canines and the pupil centers can be used to estimate mouth width (1). Evidence also suggests that the distance between the medial irises approximates actual mouth width fairly well (1). However, these soft tissue prediction guidelines are limited because they rely on accurate medio-lateral positioning of the pupils within the orbits, for which no systematic empirical evidence appears to exist at this stage. It would, therefore, be more appropriate to use only known hard tissue landmarks in mouth width prediction. This study reports the results of using inter-canine width as a percentage of mouth width for its prediction. This method seems favorable in comparison to the other guidelines because it is as accurate, uses known hard tissue landmarks, and does not rely on assumptions concerning pupil location. Estimating mouth width by using the canines alone, therefore, seems the best guideline to use in facial approximation techniques, at least given knowledge existing at this stage.
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