Width/Length Ratio in Maxillary Anterior Teeth. Comparative Study of Esthetic Preferences among Professionals and Laypersons.

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Many studies have examined the esthetic preferences of professionals in the maxillary anterior region; however, only a few have taken into account the ratios that are more frequent within the population or other ratios suggested in the literature as ideal. Previous studies also failed to compare them with the esthetic preferences of the lay population with regards to the smile. The purpose of this study is to highlight the differences when perceiving the esthetics of smiles between general dentists and laypersons, and linking them with the width/length of the maxillary anterior teeth.


Photographs of the full face of a female subject were modified with Photoshop CS regarding the length/width relationships of the 6 maxillary anterior teeth. The three modifications made were: (a) 80% length/width, (b) 85%, length/width, and (c) 85% length/width in central incisors, 80% length/width in lateral incisors and canines. Three sequences of photograph pairs were created with different ratios and presented in PowerPoint to a sample of 100 general dentists and 100 laypersons.


The ratio considered as the most esthetic by the majority of the judges was 85% for central incisors and 80% for lateral incisors and canines, with a statistically significant difference (p < 0.01). There was no statistically significant difference in the esthetic preferences of the studied populations either due to gender or professional experience of the dentists (p > 0.01).


According to the results obtained in this study, professionals and laypersons considered a width/length ratio of 85% for maxillary central incisors and 80% for lateral incisors and canines as the most esthetic for maxillary anterior teeth. These results do not support findings from other studies previously published with similar ratios in central incisors, lateral incisors, and canines.


Today clinicians practice in a treatment environment where not only function and utility but also esthetics is demanded in almost every procedure. Restoring/maintaining function is considered essential in any restorative dentistry treatment, but the esthetic aspects of any treatment should never be forgotten. This study was motivated by the increasing importance of obtaining a better appreciation of the perception of smile beauty, and of the role of maxillary teeth width/length ratio on the perception of dental esthetics.

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