Over the past decade, observing the aesthetics of a smile has become a key element of orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning. Marc Bernard Ackerman, DMD, MBA, FACD, director of Orthodontics at Children’s Hospital Boston, was one of the first to publish on smile studies. Focusing on the aesthetics of a smile, Ackerman looked at patient smiles before orthodontic treatment and after treatment, observing the conventional way braces were being put on and looking at how the teeth were lining up relative to the lips.
Dr. Ackerman found that both orthodontics and patients prefer a smile where the arch of the upper teeth parallels the lower lip. He coined the term “smile arc”, which is now one of the desired objectives of orthodontics treatment.