A well balanced and harmonious soft tissue profile is an important consideration in orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning. The purpose of this study was to determine the soft tissue profile norms in Tswana subjects, compare the results with those of other ethnic groups and develop soft tissue “norms” or standards which may be useful as guides for diagnosis and treatment planning for Tswana orthodontic patients in South Africa. 420 subjects between the ages of 15-20 were randomly selected from their schools at no criteria. 102 Tswana (52 female and 50 male) and 50 non-Tswana subjects (25 female and 25 male) were selected according to criteria. The subjects were selected for excellence of occlusion, balanced facial proportion, complete dentition (third molars disregarded) dental Class I occlusion with normal overbite and overjet, minimal spacing or crowding, no history of orthodontic treatment and no gross caries. Various orthodontic analyses were used to measure and determine soft tissue facial profiles in both Tswana and non-Tswana subjects. Results were analysed statistically to determine the differences in facial profiles between Tswana and non-Tswana subjects and compare these to Caucasian and African-American norms. The results indicate that Tswana subjects had a flatter profile than non-Tswana subjects whose facial profiles were fuller. The study also indicates that the facial profile values established for Caucasian subjects are not applicable to Tswana and African-American subjects. The findings of the present study showed that when planning orthodontic treatment for Tswana subjects it may be useful to perhaps take into account some measurements which may be more appropriate. Copyright
Dissertation (MSc(Odont))--University of Pretoria, 2010.