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J Orthod Sci. 2014 Apr;3(2):55-61. doi: 10.4103/2278-0203.132921.

Facial profile preferences, self-awareness and perception among groups of people in the United Arab Emirates.

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Department of Orthodontics, College of Dentistry, Ajman University of Science and Technology, Ajman, United Arab Emirates.



The objective of this study is to assess the differences in facial profile preference among different layers of people in the United Arab Emirates. Facial profile self-awareness among the different groups was also evaluated.


A total sample of 222 participants (mean [standard deviation] age = 25.71 [8.3] years, almost 80% of the participants were of Arab origin and 55% were males); consisting of 60 laypersons, 60 dental students, 60 general practitioners, 16 oral surgeons, and 26 orthodontists. Facial profile photographs of a male and female adult with straight profiles and a Class I skeletal relationship were used as a baseline template. Computerized photographic image modification was carried out on the templates to obtain seven different facial profile silhouettes for each gender. To assess differences in facial profile perception, participants were asked to rank the profiles of each gender on a scale from most to least attractive (1 [highest score] and 7 [least score]). Awareness and satisfaction with the facial appearance on a profile view was assessed using questionnaires completed by the non-expert groups.


The straight facial profile was perceived to be highly attractive by all five groups. The least attractive profiles were the bimaxillary protrusion and the mandibular retrusion for the male and the female profiles, respectively. Lip protrusion was more esthetically acceptable in females. Significant differences in perception existed among groups. The female profile esthetic perception was highly correlated between the expert groups (P > 0.05). Overall agreement between the non-expert group's perceptions of their own profiles and evaluation by the expert orthodontist was 51% (κ = 0.089). Candidates who perceived themselves as having a Class III facial profile were the least satisfied with their profile.


Dental professionals, dental students, and laypersons had a similar perception trends in female and male aesthetic preference. Laypersons were more tolerant to profiles with bi-maxillary retrusion. The expert group's esthetic perception was highly correlated only for the female profiles. Most of the non-experts were unable to correctly identify their facial profile.


Attractiveness; esthetics; facial profile; perception; self-awareness

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