Modified Dental Aesthetic Index (mDAI)
One might argue that the beauty of a person’s smile is subjective and can’t be broken down into a universally accepted set of objective measurements, but in fact, several attempts have been made to do just that over the past years. The SASOC, DFA and Illustrated Scale all measure dental malocclusion. They don’t however look at a patient’s overall facial structure. Because of this they fall short as effective tools in our efforts to identify and measure all of the elements that make a person’s smile attractive.
Another tool is the Dental Aesthetic Index (DAI), a system for analysing smiles that combines orthodontic measurements with socially defined aesthetic standards. The DAI grades a patient’s smile using a series of measurements and assessments.
Research over the past several years suggests that there is a more effective system for assessing our patient’s smiles. It is based on a set of 10 basic principles that cover at all aspects of a patient’s smile as it relates to their overall facial structure, and grades them using a simple system.
Using the DAI as a starting point, the criteria we use to grade a patient’s smile enhanced leading to development of the modified Dental Aesthetic Index or mDAI. With the mDAI we can assess each of the 10 smile design principles, and using a simple rating system, grade the patient’s overall smile.
This based on an article on Smile Classifications. A 10-point system for grading patients’ smiles is presented which would allow the profession to use a common language when discussing aesthetic treatments with our patients and colleagues. This system can be a valuable tool in the pre-diagnostic phase of treatment to provide an objective assessment of a patient’s smile, in the surgical phase as a guide to treatment, and in the post- surgical phase, when assessing the success of treatment.