Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Bhavna Shroff


The aim of this study was to evaluate how Asians, non-Asians, and orthodontists in America view esthetic soft tissue Asian lip profiles. The null hypothesis was that there was no difference in the perception of lip profile esthetics of Asian patients between Asian laypersons, non-Asians laypersons, and orthodontists. A survey was constructed using the profile photographs of one adult male and one adult female Asian American patient taken from the VCU Orthodontics Clinic records. Using Dolphin Imaging 3D, the original photographs were digitally altered. The lips in each photograph were moved in increments forward and backwards to produce 5 images (-4mm, -2mm, 0mm, 4mm, 8mm). Only the lips were modified. Each evaluator was asked to rank, from 1 to 5, each collection of photographs where 1 was most preferable and 5 was least preferable. There were a total of 10 survey questions. The survey was administered to 111 Asian Americans, 115 Caucasians, and 389 Orthodontists. Results suggested that all three groups were similar in their assessment. A retrusive lip profile for the Asian male was preferred, and a slightly protrusive lip profile for the Asian female was preferred across all groups. Generally, orthodontists preferred slightly more retrusive lips compared to the other two groups. The groups of evaluators that showed statistical differences were Chinese and Filipino laypersons. Cluster analysis also revealed tremendous variation in the results, giving credence to the belief that individual patient preference should be assessed in addition to understanding social norms.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010