The last two decades have seen a proliferation in the use of sophisticated orthodontic appliances, capable of considerable precision in manipulating the correction of misplaced teeth, and in the use of orthognathic surgery for the treatment of facial deformity. Both of these advances have greatly increased the demand for precise information about the future facial growth and its probable variations. A more scientific approach to orthodontic treatment requires that the claims for the efficacy of various treatment techniques should be substantiated, a process which needs a baseline of data on normal growth changes with which to compare improvement attributed to the treatment. An opportunity to satisfy this need was provided by the development of an online computer system with computergraphic facilities alongside longitudinal growth material at King's College School of Medicine and Dentistry. From this material cephalometric records extending from before the age of 5 years to adulthood was made immediately available to researchers. The data covers a greater range of ages than is presently available and are based upon as large a sample of the British population as possible. This includes occlusion developed normally without orthodontic treatment. This book is essentially a manual of growth changes and is largely descriptive. Some introductory explanations are included to define the nature and source of the sample, and the methods used in taking the radiographs and in assembling and processing the data.
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