Perception of midline diastema in dental‑ and nondental‑oriented individuals

Akinboboye, Bolanle ; Umesi, Donna ; Esan, Temitope (2018)


Background: The perception of maxillary midline diastema differs in different individuals and continent. Culture and other factors are believed to influence the perception of maxillary midline diastema. The aim is to determine the influence of dental knowledge on the perception of maxillary midline diastema. Materials and Methods: Study was done in Nigeria, which consists of diverse ethnic and social African groups. A two‑stage sampling method was done to select participants between the ages 20 and 49 years. Participants were randomly selected from the University of Lagos and Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria. A structured questionnaire including a set of color smile photographs with varying sizes of maxillary midline diastema (narrowest = 2 mm; widest = 6 mm) was administered, and grading of attractiveness of smile was done. This information was evaluated using a Likert scale. Results: Study participants were 89 and age range was between 20 and 49 years with the mean age being 27.9 ± 7.9 years. Female participants were 49.4%, while male was 50.6%. The proportion of those who were medically inclined was 47.2% and those that were nonmedically inclined were 52.8%. Prevalence of midline diastema was 16.9%. About 52% of the medically inclined and 48.9% of nonmedically inclined participants rated maxillary midline diastema of 4 mm as acceptable (P = 0.02). At 6 mm width, there was a general rating of unattractiveness with 83.3% medically inclined and 66% nonmedically inclined participants rating it unattractive (P = 0.03). A higher percent (73.8%) of the medically inclined participants did not like midline diastema (P = 0.00). Conclusion: This study was able to demonstrate the perception of maxillary midline diastema in dental and nondental professiona