Dentists' preferences of anterior tooth proportion--a web-based study

J Prosthodont. 2000 Sep;9(3):123-36.


Purpose: This study aimed to determine dentists' esthetic preferences of the maxillary anterior teeth as influenced by different proportions. The goal was to link choices to demographic data as to the experience, gender, and training of the dentist.

Method and materials: Computer-manipulated images of the 6 maxillary anterior teeth were generated from a single image and assigned to 5 tooth-height groups (very short, short, normal height, tall, and very tall). For each group, 4 images were generated by manipulating the relative proportion of the central incisors, lateral incisors, and canines according to the proportions 62% (or "golden proportion"), 70%, 80%, and "normal" or not further altered. The images were randomly ordered on a web page that contained a form asking for demographic data and fields asking for a ranking of the images. Dentists were asked via e-mail to visit the web page and complete the survey. The responses were tabulated and analyzed with repeated measures logistic regression with the alpha at 0.05. A subset of North American respondents was chosen for further analysis.

Results: A total of 549 valid responses were received and analyzed from dentists in 38 countries. There were statistically significant differences in all groups for the variables of proportion, group (tooth height), and their interaction. The 80% proportion was judged best for the Very Short and Short groups. Three of the choices were almost equally picked for the Normal Height and Tall groups, and the golden proportion was judged best for the Very Tall group. The variables of year of graduation, gender, professional activity, generalist or specialist, or number of patients were not significantly correlated with the choices for the North American respondents.

Conclusions: Dentists preferred the 80 percent proportion when viewing short or very short teeth and the golden proportion when viewing very tall teeth. Golden proportion was worst for normal height or shorter teeth and the 80% proportion for tall or very tall teeth. They picked no clear-cut best for normal height or tall teeth, and their choices could not be predicted based on gender, specialist training, experience, or patient load.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Computer Communication Networks
  • Cuspid / anatomy & histology*
  • Demography
  • Dentists*
  • Education, Dental
  • Esthetics, Dental*
  • Female
  • General Practice, Dental
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Incisor / anatomy & histology*
  • Internet*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Maxilla
  • Professional Practice
  • Sex Factors
  • Specialties, Dental