Ricketts Cephalometric Analysis

Robert Ricketts - the creature of the Ricketts Cephalometric AnalysisBefore explaining in detail about Ricketts Cephalometric Analysis, I would like to explain a little about the purpose of cephalometrics which is to gain a higher understanding of how the faciocranial complex (the skull) works and operates. Cephalometric Analysis is a relatively new and progressive form of patient evaluation used in the diagnosis and treatment in the dental and orthodontics community. Given its original designation in cephalometric radiography as a tool to observe and assess growth patterns in the craniofacial complex for signs malocclusion and subsurface skeletal disproportion – it serves as an invaluable tool in the identification and treatment of dentofacial abnormalities. Since its inception, Cephalometrics has evolved into to take on a range of methodologies, each of which vary in their degree of complexity from simple to complex. It is estimated that over 50 different variations of this treatment analysis are used in practise, each maintaining their own  list of strengths and limitations.

For the most part, there are going to be cases of practitioners meeting current new technique options with general confusion given their varying degree of difficulty. While the array of Cephalometric analysis procedure types come stocked with varying degrees of a steep learning curve, this doesn’t mean it has to be ambiguous and inefficient.  Among the available cephalometric analysis niche methodologies, the best well known and widely adopted is known as Rickett’s Cephalometric Analysis. In order to gain a more holistic understanding of Ricketts Cephalometrics, we’ll describe to you the gist of how the process works and why it is progressive.

Ricketts Cephalometric Analysis, created and developed by Robert Ricketts in 1969, is a computerized analysis tool. It is one of the most important methods in assessing, tracking and diagnosing routine patient growth patterns in the craniofacial complex.  The analysis works by using a combination of features such as lateral and frontal tracings over radiograph film. This process involves assigning a combination of points, planes, and axes as well as the use of traditional landmark means. While the initial tracings process can be time consuming, it is a paramount step. Once lines are set, next comes the identification of pinpointing discrete locations on different linear sections; which in turn are assigned values. These values are derived from a scoring rubric, which is then compared to or contrasted with normative averages in the general populace, allowing for the detection of potential deviations. Given it’s effectiveness in the monitoring and diagnosis of craniofacial development and growth, as well as diagnosing dental and orthodontic abnormalities- patients are advised to follow up with a general check up on a biannual basis.

It is fairly transparent that Ricketts Cephalometric analysis serves as a helpful tool, and is a major player in prognosis and early detection of craniofacial anomalies. This trend is likely to continue as new discoveries and technological advancements in the medical industry continue to improve and evolve. Creating a win win situation for both practitioners, and in improving patient welfare and satisfaction. Whether it be related to patient diagnosis or patient satisfaction, let us know how Ricketts cephalometric analysis has been of personal benefit to you- we would greatly appreciate your feedback!

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