International Arab Journal of Dentistry


The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the vertical position of the maxillary lateral incisors borders on the perception of smile esthetics of a woman and a man, with respect to the resulting changes of the gingival margin, in order to determine the most esthetics position of the lateral incisors. Pictures of two smiles of different sexes were edited using Adobe Photoshop (Version CS5; Adobe Systems, San Jose, Calif). The vertical position of the lateral incisors was modified, while keeping the same crown length and height/width ratio, thus respecting the resulting changes of the gingival levels. 210 evaluators (70 dentists, 70 orthodontists and 70 laypersons) aged between 18 and 60 years old were asked to grade the pictures with a scale from 0 to 10, with zero as the most unattractive and 10 as the most attractive.180 evaluators responded to the survey. Orthodontists are the most sensitive to changes in the level of the maxillary lateral incisors. The most attractive vertical relationship between the lateral and the central incisors was the 1.0 mm step. The laypersons were not able to find any statistical difference between the lateral incisors levels for both sexes. Particularly, this group gave a significantly higher score to the 0 mm step in comparison with the scores given by the orthodontists and dentists to the same picture. The perception of smile esthetics was identical between men and women. Flat smiles with central and lateral incisors borders at the same level are more appreciated by laypeople, and more accepted for men.