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The smile: objectivity of criteria for its restoration and enhancement

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 December 2012

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In general, the smile that orthodontists try to create at the end of treatment satisfies objective functional criteria as well as subjective esthetic criteria.

It’s obvious that in today’s society, a smile plays an important role in nonverbal communication: restoring or enhancing this smile is, in fact, the main reason patients consult their orthodontists.

After reviewing the literature, we were able to identify various factors involved in the perception of a smile and to underscore the esthetic connection between the smile and the face.

Is there a relationship between the smile and facial harmony?

What are the objective criteria that allow us to discern whether a smile is pleasant or not?

Our study confirmed that the esthetics of the face correlates with the perception of the smile and that the factors discussed in the literature pertaining to this correlation are valid.

However, the study has also made it possible to clarify the respective influence of various factors as they relate to a pleasant smile, an unattractive smile or an unsightly smile. Therefore, our study has shown that objective functional criteria are involved in the entirely subjective esthetic realm of a smile.

© RODF / EDP Sciences

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