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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: ORTHODONTICS
The Art and Practice of Dentofacial Enhancement

Formerly World Journal of Orthodontics

Edited by
Rafi Romano, DMD, MSc (Editor-in-Chief)

ISSN 2160-2999 (print) / ISSN 2160-3006 (online)

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Winter 2002
Volume 3 , Issue 4

Share Abstract:

Changes in Frontal Soft Tissue Dimensions of the Lower Face by Age and Gender

Steven T. Dickens, BA, David M. Sarver, DMD, MS, William R. Proffit, DDS, PhD, MS

Pages: 313-320

Facial soft tissue dimensions greatly affect important esthetic variables for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment, including the amount of incisor and gingival display at rest and upon animation. This cross-sectional study of 1367 individuals who sought orthodontic treatment provides a database of esthetically related facial soft tissue dimensions in patients from 7 to > 40 years of age. The length of the philtrum of the upper lip is short initially and increases faster than commissure height at adolescence, resulting in maximum display of the maxillary incisors at 11 years of age in females and 12 years of age in males. Of the patients with > 2 mm gingival display at rest, one-third had a philtrum height of 17 mm or less; showing that excessive gingival display often has a soft tissue component and is not just an indication of vertical maxillary excess. There is a 0.9 correlation coefficient between the philtrum length–commissure height difference and lip separation at rest. Incisor display at rest and smile, gingival display on smile, and lip separation at rest all decreased after adolescence in both males and females, particularly beyond 20 years of age. Incisor display is a youthful trait, so both the short- and long-term effects of maxillary incisor intrusion require careful consideration in planning esthetic treatment.

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