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Evaluating and Establishing Ideal Smile Esthetics : Beauty is More than Skin Deep

Course Number: 649

Dental Midline

The dental midline can be considered the focal point of an esthetic smile.18 Ideally, the dental midline should correspond with the facial midline—a line from the nasion to the base of the philtrum, or “cupid’s bow.” It should be noted that for dentists and laypeople to judge a smile as unattractive a significant deviation in midline position is necessary.19 Mild midline discrepancies may be present and a patient’s smile can still be assessed as acceptable in cases when other esthetic smile components and a vertically-oriented interproximal contact between the maxillary central incisors are present.19 In these cases mild midline discrepancies may be acceptable if other aspects of smile esthetics are present (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Example of a smile with a midline discrepancy and a vertically-oriented interproximal contact between #8 and #9