The perception of optimal profile in African Americans versus white Americans as assessed by orthodontists and the lay public. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study was designed to assess the perceived optimal profiles of African Americans versus white Americans. A survey was conducted using profile silhouettes of 30 African American and 30 white patients, ranging in age from 7 to 17 years. Twenty white orthodontists, 18 African American orthodontists, 20 white laypersons, and 20 African American laypersons evaluated the profiles. The preference of each rater for each of the 60 profiles was scored on an attached visual analog scale. Eighteen cephalometric variables were measured for each profile, and statistical analyses were performed on the profiles that had a mean rating of 60 or greater from an analog scale of 0 to 100. The results show the following 6 cephalometric variables were significant: Z-angle, skeletal convexity at A-point, upper lip prominence, lower lip prominence, nasomental angle, and mentolabial sulcus. All raters preferred the African American sample to have a greater profile convexity than they preferred for the white sample. The raters preferred the African American sample with upper and lower lips that were more prominent compared with the white sample. However, only the choice of the African American orthodontists for the African American sample was significantly different for this parameter. The white orthodontists gave the highest mean scores for the profile chosen, whereas the African American laypersons gave the lowest scores.

published proceedings

  • Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop

author list (cited authors)

  • Hall, D., Taylor, R. W., Jacobson, A., Sadowsky, P. L., & Bartolucci, A

citation count

  • 55

complete list of authors

  • Hall, D||Taylor, RW||Jacobson, A||Sadowsky, PL||Bartolucci, A

publication date

  • November 2000