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3 Components of Gingival Contours

When we think about smile design, we often think of the teeth or white esthetics. But what we can't miss is the gingiva or the pink esthetics. The gingiva are what's draping over our teeth or creating the scallop to showcase our beautiful porcelain work. So let's try to simplify this into three components.


HubSpot Video

1. Height

If we were to draw a line from canine to canine, we would prefer our canines and our centrals to be on the same plane. However, for our laterals, we'd like for those to be a little below or more coronal in that direction.

2. Gingival Zenith

Gingival Contours_Sisler

The gingival zenith is the highest point of the arc of the scallop. For our centrals, we like this to be just distal to the middle of the tooth. For our laterals, more at the middle portion of the tooth, and for our canines, a little more distal.

3. Blend from Anterior to Posterior

As we're looking at the smile from the lateral view, we want that blend from the canine to the molar area, right in the bicuspids, to be more on the same plane or more on the same line. So if we can achieve these three simple components to the gingival architecture and symmetry, we're setting the stage to marry our white and our pink esthetics to showcase that case in the best light

Picture of Dr. Zachary Sisler

Zachary Sisler, DDS, AAACD is an associate faculty member and specializes in cosmetic dentistry. He graduated from WVU School of Dentistry earning his Doctorate of Dental Surgery Degree. Dr. Sisler owns and operates his practice in Shippensburg, PA.