The Impact of Lateral Incisor Dimensions on Smile Perception - A Study of Patients Tolerance for Deviation from the Ideal

Sharat Chandra Pani, Rohit Anthony Fernandez, Rachad Ihsan Kudsi, Farid Farouk Elkhawly, Ammar Naim AlBatran and Mustafa Abdulrahman Nasser M

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Background and aim: The lateral incisor is one of the most commonly associated anterior teeth with being congenitally missing or affected by Microdontia. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the influence of variations in the position, proportion and angulation of lateral incisors on patients’ perception towards an ideal smile.

Methodology: One hundred and ninety eight subjects between 15 and 35 years of age, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, were asked to fill out a brief Questionnaire. Thereafter, using the means of a PowerPoint Presentation, the participants were shown a series of photographs of an ideal smile in which the lateral incisors were altered within set parameters. The participants identified which image, within each sequence, was most esthetic in their opinion.

Results and conclusions: Most of the participants preferred shorter (-2.22 mm) and wider (1.82 mm) lateral incisors, compared with the ideal image. A majority of participants preferred that the long axis of the lateral incisor be parallel to that of the central incisor. 40.4% of the population tolerated a mesial 5° tilt and only 11.6% tolerated a distal 5° tilt. Female tolerance towards variations in height and width were significantly less than their male counterparts. Participants’ tolerance for shorter and wider lateral incisors, compared with the ideal, was seen when these parameters were assessed individually. Majority of the participants tolerated 0°-5° of mesial tilting for the lateral incisor.

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