Aim: To determine how general dentists, orthodontists, combined dental specialists, and laypeople judged the relative attractiveness of a series of photographs of teeth that included cases with congenitally missing incisors to compare the esthetic appeal of various treatment options. Methods: The photographs included cases with Maryland bridges, dental implants, and orthodontic substitution of the lateral incisors with the canines. Cases with no missing teeth were included as controls. The subjects rated each photograph independently, assigning a number between 1 and 5 for each of a series of 7 bipolar adjectives. Each photograph was given an overall score from 7 (best) through 35 (worst) for use in statistical analysis (ANOVA). Results: Results indicated that general dentists, orthodontists, combined dental specialists, and laypeople differed in their evaluations of the photographs, which represented multiple treatment options for congenitally missing maxillary lateral incisors. Conclusions: Including esthetics of the finished result as an advantage or disadvantage for either restoration or canine substitution of the lateral incisors could be misleading to the patient because the judgment of esthetics of a smile can vary from one person to another or from one dental professional to another, as indicated in this study.
World J Orthod 2005;6:369–375.