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Volume 28 , Issue 4
July/August 2015

Pages 363–370

Changes in Lower Facial Height and Facial Esthetics with Incremental Increases in Occlusal Vertical Dimension in Dentate Subjects

Noah P. Orenstein, DMD, MS/Avinash S. Bidra, BDS, MS/John R. Agar, DDS, MA/ Thomas D. Taylor, DDS, MSD/Flavio Uribe, DDS, MDS/Mark D. Litt, PhD

PMID: 26218018
DOI: 10.11607/ijp.4288

Purpose: To determine if there are objective changes in lower facial height and subjective changes in facial esthetics with incremental increases in occlusal vertical dimension in dentate subjects. Materials and Methods: Twenty subjects of four different races and both sexes with a Class I dental occlusion had custom diagnostic occlusal prostheses (mandibular overlays) fabricated on casts mounted on a semi-adjustable articulator. The overlays were fabricated at 2-mm, 3-mm, 4-mm, and 5-mm openings of the anterior guide pin of a semi-adjustable articulator. Direct facial measurements were made between pronasale and menton on each subject while wearing the four different overlays. Thereafter, two digital photographs (frontal and profile) were taken for each subject at maximum intercuspation (baseline) and wearing each of the four mandibular overlays. The photographs of eight subjects were standardized and displayed in a random order to 60 judges comprising 30 laypeople, 15 general dentists, and 15 prosthodontists. Using a visual analog scale, each judge was asked to rate the facial esthetics twice for each of the 80 images. Results: For objective changes, although an anterior guide pin–lower facial height relationship of 1:0.63 mm was observed, the findings were not correlated (P > .20). For subjective changes, the visual analog scale ratings of judges were uncorrelated with increases in anterior guide pin opening up to 5 mm, irrespective of the judge’s background status or the sexes of the judges or the subjects (P > .80). Conclusions: Incremental increases in anterior guide pin opening up to 5 mm did not correlate to similar increases in lower facial height. Additionally, it made no difference in a judge’s evaluation of facial esthetics irrespective of the judge’s background status (layperson, general dentist, or prosthodontist) or sex.

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