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Maxillary Anterior Papilla Display During Smiling: A Clinical Study of the Interdental Smile Line

teeth xray


Dennis Tarnow, Stephen Chu, DMD, MSD, CDT

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Soft Tissue,
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The purpose of this research was to quantify the presence or absence of interdental papillae during maximum smiling in a patient population aged 10 to 89 years. The visual display of interdental papillae during maximum smiling occurred 380 of the 420 patients examined in this study, equivalent to a 91% occurrence rate. Eighty seven percent of all patients categorized as having a low gingival smile line were found to display the interdental papillae upon smiling. Differences were noted for individual age groups according to the decade of life as well as a trend toward decreasing papillary display with increasing age. The importance of interdental papillae display during dynamic smiling should not be left undiagnosed since it is visible in over 91% of older patients and in 87% of patients with a low gingival smile line, representing a common and important esthetic element that needs to be assessed during smile analysis of the patient.