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Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2005 Feb;127(2):208-13; quiz 261.

Buccal corridors and smile esthetics.

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College of Dentistry, Department of Orthodontics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.



The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of buccal corridors on smile attractiveness when judged by lay persons.


Full-face color slides of 10 randomly selected smiling subjects (5 women, 5 men) were digitized. The maxillary posterior dentitions for all subjects were digitally altered to produce a range of smile fullness: narrow (28% buccal corridor), medium-narrow (22% buccal corridor), medium (15% buccal corridor), medium-broad (10% buccal corridor), and broad (2% buccal corridor). The 5 images of each subject were paired into 11 possible combinations, and the resulting 110 pairings were randomly projected to a panel of 30 adult lay persons who compared the 2 images in each pair for smile attractiveness.


Statistical analysis with the Wilcoxon signed-rank and rank-sum tests showed that (1) a broader smile (minimal buccal corridor) was judged by lay persons to be more attractive than a narrow smile (larger buccal corridors), and (2) no significant differences were found in judging between male and female subjects or between male and female judges.


Having minimal buccal corridors is a preferred esthetic feature in both men and women, and large buccal corridors should be included in the problem list during orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning.

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