The perception of dental esthetics assessed by Prosthodontic Residents and UAE recognized Specialists in Prosthodontics
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Smiles can be improved by veneering teeth using a relatively conservative technique. The appearance of veneers and smile design has not been previously investigated in the UAE. This study aimed to assess the aesthetic preferences of different smile designs rated by a group of prosthodontic residents and specialists. A questionnaire was devised asking about demographic details such as age and gender as well as clinical experience before and after graduation. Images of ten cases who had ceramic veneers fitted on their anterior teeth were included in the questionnaire. There were two images for each case: smiling with lips shown and close-up with retracted lips and cheeks. A total of seven questions regarding the appearance for each case were posed to each rater. Each question had a 5 point Likert rating scale from poor to excellent. All residents in prosthodontics at HBMCDM and UAE recognized specialists in prosthodontics were invited to participate. The specialists were recruited from the DHA/CPQ database. A total of 25 dentists rated the 10 cases. There were 12 residents and 13 specialists, 40% were from the UAE and 60% from other countries. The residents were significantly younger than the specialists with mean ages of 29.4 years and 43.0 years respectively (p<0.001). Ten raters were male and 15 female. An overall amalgamated mean score was calculated for each case by summing all 7 individual scores for the 7 questions by rater. Males rated case 8, visible papillae following lip contour, significantly more highly than females (p<0.004). The overall ranking of the 10 cases was determined by gaining a mean % score for each case by summing the Likert scores for all seven questions and dividing by the maximum score of 35 per case. Both the residents and specialists agreed that case 9 (long teeth contacting the lower lip) was the most pleasant (68%) and that case 5 (midline discrepancy) was the most unattractive (39%). Overall, cases 9 and 6 were the most pleasing and cases 5 and 10 were the most displeasing. The residents and prosthodontic specialists were mostly in agreement when rating the esthetics of several different smile designs. Symmetry and the upper lip just covering the upper gingival margins were the most pleasing whilst a non-coincident midline and gingival inflammation were deemed the most unattractive.