Purpose: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the facial esthetic perception of dental students, non-dental students, and laypersons with respect to digitally altered profile photographs in the vertical and sagittal dimensions.
Materials and methods: Colored profile photographs of a male subject and a female subject were digitally altered in the sagittal and vertical dimensions. Preclinical and clinical dental students, clinical medical students, senior art and engineering students, and laypersons with various occupations were invited to rate the profile photographs and their treatment need by means of a questionnaire created on Google Forms.
Results: The study involved 574 participants (378 females, 196 males). Male and female straight normal profiles were found to be the most attractive facial profiles by all groups, followed by convex profiles. Concave profiles were rated as the least attractive and in need of more treatment. No significant difference was observed between the ratings of the preclinical and clinical dental students. The ratings of dental students showed significant differences in terms of esthetic perception compared with the engineering students and laypersons. Regarding the gender of the participants, there were significant differences between males and females.
Conclusion: The perception of facial esthetics was influenced by education, and students whose study curriculum was esthetic in nature or clinically based were more critical in their judgment. The gender of the participants significantly influenced their esthetic judgment.