Grant to Study Craniofacial Growth

To help orthodontists and physicians more accurately treat children who need orthodontic or other craniofacial interventions, researchers from the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine along with other universities are studying craniofacial growth in different facial types.

The research team received a five year $2.8 million grant from NIH to identify features on more than 30,000 images from 5,000 individuals from birth to age 24 from nine growth studies. The researchers will collect data to identify patterns of growth at both the individual and population levels.

The researchers will use the results of the study to develop a web-based application that will provide orthodontists and surgeons precise diagnostic tools to evaluate the current facial size and shape of individual children and predict when and how much more that child’s face will grow.

This will enable orthodontists to determine the best time to place braces on children which may reduce the time they will have to wear braces. It will also help doctors treat children with abnormalities of the face or head caused by birth defects, disease, or trauma to determine the ideal timing for treatment to ensure the best outcomes.

According to the Co-Principal Investigator, Ramzi W. Nahhas, PhD, and Associate Professor in the Departments of Community Health and Psychiatry, “Collecting this data allows for an unprecedented opportunity to characterize craniofacial form in humans and develop clinically useful prediction, tools.”

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