Comparison of maxillary anterior tooth width and facial dimensions of 3 ethnicities

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Statement of problem.

As the cosmetic demands of patients increase, determining the appropriate dimensions of the maxillary anterior teeth has become increasingly relevant. The relationship between facial measurements and tooth size provide guidance for maxillary anterior tooth size selection. However, most publications on this topic have focused on the white population, and more data for tooth sizes and their proportions in other ethnicities are needed.


The purpose of this observational study was to investigate the relationship between the mesiodistal dimensions of the 6 maxillary anterior teeth and the bizygomatic width, interpupillary distance, intercanthal distance, interalar width, and intercommissural width of individuals of Asian, African-American, and white ethnicities.

Material and methods.

Standardized digital images of 360 participants (120 Asian, 120 African-American, and 120 white) were used to measure facial segments. Individual dimensions of the 6 maxillary anterior teeth were measured using stone casts with digital sliding caliper. The combined width of the 6 maxillary anterior teeth on a straight line corresponded to the sum of the anterior tooth width. The means and standard deviations from descriptive measurements were calculated and analyzed for face and maxillary anterior tooth ratios and correlations. Statistical analysis was done using the Kruskal-Wallis procedure to compare facial and tooth parameters among the 3 ethnicities. Appropriate post hoc comparisons that adjusted for multiple testing were conducted when warranted (α=.05). The Spearman rho correlation, a nonparametric correlate of the Pearson correlation, was used to associate the facial and tooth parameters within the strata of sex and ethnicity.


No consistent ratios were found among the examined facial dimensions and the mesiodistal dimensions of the 6 maxillary anterior teeth among the 3 ethnicities, except for the central incisor width-to-bizygomatic width ratio. No correlations were found between the facial dimensions and mesiodistal dimensions of the 6 maxillary anterior teeth among the 3 ethnicities except in Asian women. For Asian women, the intercommissural width correlated with the width of the central incisor (P=.001), the width of 2 central incisors (P=.001), the width of 4 incisors (P=.003), and the width of 6 maxillary anterior teeth (P=.005).


No facial proportions by which the exact width of maxillary anterior teeth could be predicted were found in Asian, African-American, or white populations.

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