Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Thomas C. Waldrop


BACKGROUND: Smile esthetics play a major role in the perception of a person’s attractiveness, as well as other social parameters. The study aim was to see if altering the gingival display of patients would affect perceptions of the aforementioned social parameters. METHODS: Smiling photographs were taken and then digitally altered so as to lengthen the teeth and reduce the amount of gingiva. These photographs were shown to a group of senior dental students, and a group of evaluators with no formal dental training. Groups were asked to rate each picture’s attractiveness, friendliness, trustworthiness, intelligence, and self-confidence. RESULTS: The digitally altered photographs were rated higher for all five social parameters than were their unaltered counterparts (p<0.0001). There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups of evaluators. CONCLUSIONS: Excessive gingival display positively affected how attractive a person’s smile is judged, and also how friendly, trustworthy, intelligent, and self-confident they are.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

April 2012

Included in

Dentistry Commons