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

Course Number: 649

Gingival Contour

The relative position of the gingival margins of anterior teeth and their relationship to one another contributes to overall smile esthetics.35-37Further, an arched gingival contour with a height of contour slightly into the distal third of an incisor tooth.35-37 The central incisors generally have gingival margins that correspond to the canines and the lateral incisors are approximately 1-1.5mm more coronal to a line between the heights of contour of the central incisors and the canines. Discrepancies in the position of the gingival margins may be caused by incisal attrition, ankylosis, altered passive eruption, tooth malposition, dental malocclusion, or gingival recession (Figure 9).35-37

Figure 9. Gingival margin positions demonstrating less than ideal positioning that results in perceived smile asymmetry.