Maxillary incisors step: matter of preference?
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INTRODUCTION: Evaluate how esthetic smiling variables influence laypeople’s preference for a step or no step between the incisal edges of the maxillary central and lateral incisors, and how subject demographics may modify such an association. METHODS: Sixteen smiling photographs with differing esthetic variable combinations were duplicated and paired. One of each pair was modified to create a 1mm step between the maxillary central and lateral incisors, while the other picture had no step. Photos were shown to 200 laypeople, and they were asked to choose which smile they prefer for each pairing. RESULTS: 99% of the subjects did not realize any difference between the photos in each pairing. 63% of the subjects surveyed in this study were college educated. For ten out of sixteen esthetic combinations, people preferred no step between central and lateral incisors. People younger than 43 years of age preferred no step for four esthetic categories. In one of the esthetic categories, males preferred a step, while females preferred no step. Caucasians and other racial backgrounds preferred no step for one esthetic combination. For two categories, people who did not attend college preferred a step, and those who did attend college preferred no step. CONCLUSIONS: More people prefer no step between maxillary central and lateral incisors, and patient background and demographics have little-to-no influence on this preference.