Aims and objectives: The study aimed to record the distance between the inner and outer canthus of the eye and to compare it with the distance between the base of the nose to the lower border of the lower lip which can later be used to measure vertical dimension in occlusion.
Materials and methods: Two hundred dental students comprising males and females between 18 years and 25 years of age-group constituted the samples for this study. The intercanthal distance (distance between medial and lateral canthus of the eyes) and subnasale (base of the nose) to the lower border of lower lip distances were measured by the digital caliper when the patient closed in centric occlusion. In this manner, measurements were made in all the samples and data obtained were tabulated for further analysis.
Results: The coincidence of occlusal vertical dimension with intercanthal width among the male and female categories was 76 for males and 107 for females out of the total of 183. A 91.5% accuracy was observed in both sexes which suggests that intercanthus distance can be used as a guide to developing active vertical dimension in edentulous subjects. This was done by adjusting the height of the occlusal rims and measuring the distance between the base of the nose to the inferior border of the lower lip till it equals the intercanthus distance. This method was later verified by clinical judgment.
Conclusion: Within the limitations of the study, it was concluded that the intercanthus distance can be used as a guide to developing active vertical dimension in edentulous subjects.
Clinical significance: The distance between the outer and inner canthus can be a reliable landmark, which can be used for anthropometric measurements to record vertical dimension in edentulous patients requiring complete dentures along with other existing methods.
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