Smile attractiveness related to buccal corridor space in 3 different facial types: A perception of 3 ethnic groups of Malaysians

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Statement of problem.

Buccal corridor space and its variations greatly influence smile attractiveness. Facial types are different for different ethnic populations, and so is smile attractiveness. The subjective perception of smile attractiveness of different populations may vary in regard to different buccal corridor spaces and facial patterns.


The purpose of this study was to determine esthetic perceptions of the Malaysian population regarding the width of buccal corridor spaces and their effect on smile esthetics in individuals with short, normal, and long faces.

Material and methods.

The image of a smiling individual with a mesofacial face was modified to create 2 different facial types (brachyfacial and dolicofacial). Each face form was further modified into 5 different buccal corridors (2%, 10%, 15%, 22%, and 28%). The images were submitted to 3 different ethnic groups of evaluators (Chinese, Malay, Indian; 100 each), ranging between 17 and 21 years of age. A visual analog scale (50 mm in length) was used for assessment. The scores given to each image were compared with the Kruskal-Wallis test, and pairwise comparison was performed using the Mann-Whitney U test (α=.05).


All 3 groups of evaluators could distinguish gradations of dark spaces in the buccal corridor at 2%, 10%, and 28%. Statistically significant differences were observed among 3 groups of evaluators in esthetic perception when pairwise comparisons were performed. A 15% buccal corridor was found to score esthetically equally within 3 face types by all 3 groups of evaluators. The Indian population was more critical in evaluation than the Chinese or Malay populations. In a pairwise comparison, more significant differences were found between long and short faces and the normal face; the normal face was compared with long and short faces separately.


The width of the buccal corridor space influences smile attractiveness in different facial types. A medium buccal corridor (15%) is the esthetic characteristic preferred by all groups of evaluators in short, normal, and long face types.

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