Orthodontists and lay people rate masculine soft tissue profiles similarly but feminine soft tissue profiles differently.

Research paper by Shmuel S Einy, Tzemach T Miri, Eyal E Katzhendler, Dror D Aizenbud, Krausz K Emanuela, Paul P Zaslansky

Indexed on: 22 Sep '20Published on: 22 Sep '20Published in: Quintessence international (Berlin, Germany : 1985)


An esthetic facial soft tissue profile is an important objective of contemporary orthodontics. The extent to which clinicians and the public agree on profiles that are esthetically acceptable versus profiles recommended for treatment is unclear. Thus, this work examined the profile considered esthetic by laypeople and general dental practitioners compared to orthodontists. An Israeli balanced male-female group comprising 284 participants (orthodontists [n = 86], general dental practitioners [n = 64], laypeople [n = 134]) rated the attractiveness of five standardized masculine and feminine profiles presented in standardized silhouettes ranging from concave to convex. Laypeople see no esthetic difference between masculine and feminine profiles, and prefer moderately concave over moderately convex and severely concave over severely convex profiles. While all raters preferred the straight silhouettes, orthodontists rated them significantly higher than general dental practitioners (P < .0001) or laypeople (P < .020). Similar to the general population, orthodontists gave higher ratings to concave profiles for masculine profiles, but significantly lower ratings for feminine profiles. The severely convex male profile was the least attractive to clinicians and laypeople. There was a significant difference in the attractiveness of the female profile between practitioners (P < .001 and P < .02 for general dental practitioners and orthodontists, respectively) and laypeople. The findings suggest that orthodontic training and clinical adherence to strict beauty norms results in more critical judgment of female attractiveness, which may affect orthodontic treatment. They indicate trends that reflect changes in recent decades in the public perception of facial beauty, which may affect patient expectations of treatment outcomes.