ABSTRACT: The understanding of growth and developmental changes can be improved when shapes and changes in size, proportion, and relationships are visualized in 3 dimensions and at different stages. This applies particularly to craniofacial skeletal growth and the development of the dentition. For that purpose 3D-data were collected from prenatal human heads ranging from 18 up to 275 mm CRL and from a collection of macerated fetal and postnatal skulls. Computer-aided graphical reconstructions were obtained from histological serial sections of embryonic and early fetal specimens. Proportional changes in the growing skull were recorded by means of radiological and cephalometric evaluation. In addition, computed tomography was applied to fetal and postnatal skulls. Furthermore, the prenatal and postnatal development of the dentition was digitized. To that end 3D-polygone sets of these data were read into a workstation computer and animated by means of the software Soft Image (Microsoft). This comprehensive 4D insight into growth facilitates the understanding and teaching of normal and abnormal development.
Annals of Anatomy - Anatomischer Anzeiger 02/1999; 181(1):3-8. · 1.86 Impact Factor