Self-perception and self-representation preference between 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional facial reconstructions among dentists, dental students, and laypersons. Academic Article uri icon


  • STATEMENT OF PROBLEM: Computer-aided design (CAD) software can merge the intraoral digital scan with patient photographs or 3-dimensional (3D) facial reconstructions for treatment planning purposes. However, whether an individual perceives a 3D facial reconstruction as a better self-representation compared with a 2-dimensional (2D) photograph is unclear. PURPOSE: The purpose of this observational study was to compare self-perception ratings and self-representation preference of the 2D and 3D facial reconstructions among laypersons, dental students, and dentists. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Three populations participated in the study: laypersons, dental students, and dentists (n=20, N=60). Facial and intraoral features were digitized by using facial and intraoral scanners, and a complete-face smile photograph was obtained. Two simulations were performed for each participant: 2D (2D group) and 3D (3D group) reconstructions. In the 2D group, a maxillary digital veneer waxing from the left to the right second premolars was produced without altering the shape, position, or length of the involved teeth. A software program (Dental Systems; 3Shape A/S) was used to merge the maxillary digital waxing with the full-face smile photograph. One image was obtained for each participant. In the 3D group, a dental software program (Matera 2.4; exocad GmbH) was used to merge the intraoral and facial scans. Subsequently, 1 video of a 180-degree rotation of each 3D superimposition was obtained. Participants evaluated both superimpositions on a scale from 1 (least esthetically pleasing) to 6 (most esthetically pleasing). Finally, participants were asked which superimposition they preferred for a potential treatment outcome representation. RESULTS: All the ratings were esthetically pleasing (median group rating 5 or 6). When analyzed solely for differences across occupation groups, ratings for the 2D representation varied significantly across populations (Kruskal-Wallis chi-squared=13.241, df=2, P=.001), but the ratings for the 3D representation did not exhibit statistically significant differences (Kruskal-Wallis chi-squared=4.3756, df=2, P=.112). Ordinal logistic regression revealed no significant main effects but a significant effect of the populationimage-type interaction on the esthetic rating. All participants felt well-represented in both the 2D and 3D representations. Also, 40% of dentists, 55% of dental students, and 50% of laypersons preferred the 3D reconstructions. Sex and occupation in general had no effect on the ratings. However, students tended to give higher ratings to the 3D representations of themselves. CONCLUSIONS: There is no evidence based on the current study that 2D and 3D representations were perceived differently, but representation preferences may depend on a person's occupation. When individuals rated 3D visualization higher than 2D visualization, they strongly preferred the 3D visualization for representing the treatment outcome.

published proceedings

  • J Prosthet Dent

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Revilla-Len, M., Ashby, M. T., Meyer, M. J., Zandinejad, A., & Umorin, M.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Revilla-León, Marta||Ashby, Mark T||Meyer, Matthew J||Zandinejad, Amirali||Umorin, Mikhail

publication date

  • June 2022