Is beauty truly in the eye of the beholder? Evidence-based ideal smile esthetics

This course seeks to present the current data regarding ideal smile components and the differences regarding ideal smile components based upon age, gender, and race/ethnicity to allow dentists to create personalized road maps and help their patients achieve vibrant smiles.

3 CE Credits

A peer-reviewed course written by Maria L. Geisinger, DDS, MS and Hussein Basma, DDS, DESS, MS


A smile is a universal greeting and translates into all languages. Smiling individuals are judged as more pleasant and trustworthy, and the act of smiling actually releases endorphins that improve the mood of the person who smiles. As dentists, we are trained to create, maintain, and protect the ideal smile, but what should our goals be in achieving that “gold standard” of beauty? This course seeks to present the current data regarding ideal smile components and the differences regarding ideal smile components based upon age, gender, and race/ethnicity to allow dentists to create personalized road maps and help their patients achieve vibrant smiles.

Educational objectives

At the conclusion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

  • List the components of a smile and discuss their roles in optimal smile esthetics
  • Describe the step-by-step approach to evaluating a patient’s smile, including assessing tooth shape/shade, gingival display, and lip length/mobility
  • Understand the role of patient-based characteristics on acceptable esthetics and ideal smile components
  • Discuss personalized treatment options to achieve ideal smile esthetics based upon underlying diagnoses in each patient

Maria L. Geisinger, DDS, MS, is a professor and director of advanced education in periodontology in the Department of Periodontology in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Dentistry. Dr. Geisinger received her BS in biology from Duke University, her DDS from Columbia University School of Dental Medicine, and her MS and certificate in periodontology and implantology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Geisinger is a diplomate in the American Board of Periodontology. She has served as the president of the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation and on multiple national and regional organized dentistry committees. She currently serves as chair of the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs and as a member of the American Academy of Periodontology’s Board of Trustees. She has authored over 45 peer-reviewed publications and her research interests include periodontal and systemic disease interaction, implant dentistry in the periodontally compromised dentition, and novel treatment strategies for oral soft- and hard-tissue growth. She lectures nationally and internationally on topics in periodontology and oral health care.

Hussein Basma, DDS, DESS, MS, graduated from Damascus University in 2009 with a doctor of dental surgery, after receiving a full scholarship. Following dental school, Dr. Basma completed a graduate degree in prosthodontics at Lebanese University. He completed his certificate in periodontology and his master of science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). His research interests focus on bone grafting and implant dentistry. Dr. Basma is currently a full-time assistant professor in the Department of Periodontology at the UAB School of Dentistry. His clinical and teaching efforts focus on interdisciplinary care in dentistry and the integration of technology to deliver optimal patient care.

Image credit: © Igor Mojzes |
Quick Access Code: 210002

Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 11 Lessons
  • 1 Test
  • Course Certificate
  • CE credit(s): 3

    Course Type: Written

    Published Date: May 2021

    This continuing education (CE) activity was developed by Endeavor Business Media with no commercial support.

    This course was written for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, from novice to skilled.

    Educational methods: This course is a self-instructional journal and web activity.

    Provider disclosure: Endeavor Business Media neither has a leadership position nor a commercial interest in any products or services discussed or shared in this educational activity. No manufacturer or third party had any input in the development of the course content.

    Requirements for successful completion: To obtain 3 CE credits for this educational activity, you must pay the required fee, review the material, complete the course evaluation, and obtain an exam score of 70% or higher.

    CE planner disclosure: Laura Winfield, Endeavor Business Media dental group CE coordinator, neither has a leadership nor commercial interest with the products or services discussed in this educational activity. Ms. Winfield can be reached at

    Educational disclaimer: Completing a single continuing education course does not provide enough information to result in the participant being an expert in the field related to the course topic. It is a combination of many educational courses and clinical experience that allows the participant to develop skills and expertise.

    Image authenticity statement: The images in this educational activity have not been altered.

    Scientific integrity statement: Information shared in this CE course is developed from clinical research and represents the most current information available from evidence-based dentistry.

    Known benefits and limitations of the data: The information presented in this educational activity is derived from the data and information contained in the reference section.

    Registration: The cost of this CE course is $39.00 for 3 CE credits.

    Cancellation and refund policy: Any participant who is not 100% satisfied with this course can request a full refund by contacting Endeavor Business Media in writing.

    Provider information:

    Dental Board of California: Provider RP5933. Course registration number CA code: 03-5933-21002. Expires April 2024. “This course meets the Dental Board of California’s requirements for 3 units of continuing education.”


    Endeavor Business Media is a nationally approved PACE program provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.
    Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.
    11/1/2022 to 10/31/2024.
    Provider ID# 320452
    AGD code: 780


    Endeavor Business Media is designated as an approved Provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHPNW (January 1, 2022–December 31, 2024). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit. AADH code:


    Endeavor Business Media is an ADA CERP–recognized provider.

    ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of dental continuing education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

    Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to CERP at



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