Influence of the cranial base flexion on Class I, II and III malocclusions: a systematic review

ABSTRACT Objective: The aim of this study was to perform a systematic review on the morphological characteristics of the skull base (flexion, anterior length and posterior length) and the concomitant development of malocclusions, by comparing differences in dimorphism, ethnicity and age. Methods: The articles were selected by means of electronic search on BBO, MEDLINE and LILACS databases from 1966 to 2016. A qualitative evaluation of the methodologies used on the articles was also performed. Results: Although the literature on this topic is abundant, only 16 articles were selected for the present systematic review. The cranial base angle itself does not seem to play a significant role in the development of malocclusions. In fact, the cranial base angle is relatively stable at the ages of 5 to 15 years. Conclusions: A more obtuse angle at the skull base, in association or not with a greater anterior length of the cranial base, can contribute to the development of Class II division 1 malocclusions. On the other hand, a more acute angle at the skull base can contribute to a more anterior positioning of the mandible and to the development of Class III malocclusions.