Lip line, smile line
- Lip line and smile line are important diagnostics factors when treating patients with dental implants in the aesthetic region; in posterior regions the level of lip line and smile line are of less influence.
- High lip line and high smile line with gingival exposure pose technical aesthetic challenges when managing anterior teeth restorations.
Lip line and smile line
Lip line can be defined as the vertical position of the lower border of the upper lip. It is important to evaluate the lip line when smiling (smile line). The maximum upper lip elevation, during a strained smile, should also be assessed. As the smile expands, the teeth are exposed. The lip line is typically categorized in high smile, average smile and low smile.
Loss of teeth not only affects oral function, but also aesthetic appearance. From the patients perspective, there is usually a strong wish to restore function and aesthetics quickly, durable and in resemblance with the adjacent dentition. In the anterior aesthetic region it is challenging to achieve a satisfactory harmonious result if one tooth has to be replaced by an implant-supported restoration, especially if a substantial resorption of bone has taken place.
In all patients, state of art treatment, with striving for the best aesthetic result, is the standard. However, in patients with a high smile line the smallest deviation will be directly visible and will not be hidden by the upper lip. This factor is one of the most important parts in the process of implant counseling and information to the patient.
Figure 1: Upper Lip line (E) and other relevant landmarks
Figure 2: Patient with an average smile line
Figure 3: Patient with a high smile line