Modeling longitudinal mandibular growth: percentiles for gnathion from 6 to 15 years of age in girls.
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Growth of the cephalometric landmark gnathion is modeled mathematically with multilevel statistical techniques. The findings, pertaining to a mixed longitudinal sample (N = 772) of 105 girls, 6 to 15 years of age, provide the most accurate descriptions of longitudinal mandibular growth presently available. Polar, rather than rectangular, coordinates are used to better distinguish between the amount and direction of growth. The velocity curve for sella-gnathion includes growth spurts during childhood (7.5 years) and adolescence (12.7 years). Growth direction of gnathion changes regularly throughout the age range, indicating a relative increase of vertical over horizontal growth. These reference standards serve as a basis for comparing and better understanding abnormal growth patterns.