Intra- and inter-examiner reliability of direct facial soft tissue measurements using digital calipers

Nikolay Mollov, José Antônio Bosio, Jessica Pruszynski, Thomas Wirtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background: The objective of this study is to determine if facial soft tissue measurements using digital calipers can be reliably taken by the same examiner and by a large group of examiners. Materials and Methods: Ten examiners performed a set of 18 in-clinic measurements on 10 female and 10 male dental students using a digital caliper twice over a 3-week period. The intra-class correlation coefficient and the Shrout-Fleiss method were used for the statistical analysis. Results: Anthropometric intra-examiner reliability was high for all measurements (none fell below R = 0.934). However, inter-examiner reliability exhibited a wide range of values, some reliable (nasal width at widest nostrils [. R = 0.922] and subnasale to upper lip [. R = 0.926]), and others unreliable [base of nose (. R = 0.590), mouth height (. R = 0.585), and soft tissue B point to gnathion (. R = 0.623)]. Conclusion: Soft tissue measurements of clearly identifiable points measured by the same examiner produced highly consistent, accurate and reliable measurements. Soft tissue points with poor definition resulted in average-to-poor reliabilities measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the World Federation of Orthodontists
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2012



  • Calipers
  • Facial measurements
  • Reliability
  • Soft tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthodontics

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