Aim: This study sought to assess perception of facial esthetics by laypersons and dental professionals.
Materials and methods: Three standard photographs were digitally manipulated involving three facial characteristics; facial symmetry, facial profile and facial vertical proportions. A sample of 465 [142 laypersons (LP), 97 dental assistants (DA), 152 general dental practitioners (GDP) and 74 dental specialists (DS)] evaluated the standard and the manipulated images on a visual analogue scale ranging from 1 (the less pleasant image) to 5 (the standard image). The responses were analyzed using Kruskal–Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests. A p value of <0.05 was considered significant.
Results: The overall score was 61.29 ± 16.19% with no statistical difference by gender. GDP showed significantly higher perception score than LP, DA and DS did. Regarding the individual facial esthetic components, females showed significantly better perception for “facial profile”, while males showed significantly better perception for “facial symmetry” and “facial vertical proportions”. Facial symmetry and facial vertical proportions were perceived differently with the higher perception score for the GDP and the lowest perception scores were for LP.
Conclusion: Remarkable variations do exist with regard to facial esthetic perception by LP, DA, GDP and DS, with GDP showed more favorable perception.
Clinical significance: Perception of facial esthetics by laypersons and dental practitioners with a different level of dental education and clinical experience gives an indication about the difference between the patients’ desire and the practitioners’ perception of such esthetic demands.