From a set of longitudinal three-dimensional scans of the same anatomical structure, the authors have accurately modeled the temporal shape and size changes using a linear shape model. On a total of 31 computed tomography scans of the mandible from six patients, 14,851 semilandmarks are found automatically using shape features and a new algorithm called geometry-constrained diffusion. The semilandmarks are mapped into Procrustes space. Principal component analysis extracts a one-dimensional subspace, which is used to construct a linear growth model. The worst case mean modeling error in a cross validation study is 3.7 mm.