Evaluation of the Esthetics of a Smile

Petrous, Jerek B., and Ajay Ojha

Esthetics and perception are very important aspects to the culture we live in.  This study investigates the perceptions of esthetics in a smile when comparing that smile to the entire face.  Objectives:  The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the attractiveness of a smile is based entirely upon dental qualities or if a person’s facial features and facial expressions play a major role in whether a face is perceived as attractive or not.  Methods:  A Likert scale survey was designed to evaluate, on a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being least attractive and 5 being most attractive), the perceived attractiveness of smiles in celebrities and non-celebrities.  Smiles were ranked in two ways.  First, the respondents were asked to rate the isolated smiles and then were subsequently asked to rate the full face photos containing the same smile.  Aside from rating the attractiveness of the face and the smile, the respondents are also asked whether they themselves would like to have a smile like the one in the picture.  The survey was administered online using surveymonkey.com.  Results:  There were a total of 191 respondents who took the survey.  The Likert scale data was treated as interval data in order to calculate averages for the perceived attractiveness of smiles and faces.  In addition, the percentages of respondents who wished to have that smile shown in the picture were calculated.  Conclusions:  This survey was designed with a limited number of faces, however, it suggests that for those smiles that scored near the median in attractiveness facial features may increase the perceived esthetics of a smile.  However, for those smiles that were ranked in the top or bottom in attractiveness, this was not the case.