AAO Lecture May 7, 2013 Philadelphia, PA
Will A. Andrews, D.D.S.
Optimal oral and facial harmony implies a state of maximum health, function and appearance of components of the orofacial complex for an individual. The Six Elements of Orofacial Harmony are the tooth, arch, and jaw characteristics found to be shared by individuals with naturally optimal occlusions and balanced faces1. The Six Elements are optimal treatment goals for the six areas for
which orthodontists have diagnostic responsibility. The six areas are: 1) The arch: teeth individually (morphology and positions) and the teeth collectively (arch width, depth, shape, and length), 2) AP jaw positions, 3) Jaw widths, 4) Jaw heights, 5) Chin prominence and, 6) Occlusion.
ELEMENT I– Optimal Arch: teeth individually (morphology and positions), teeth collectively (arch width, depth, shape, and length) 1-8
An arch is optimal when the tooth sizes are normal, the root of each tooth is centered over basal bone, each crown is inclined so that its occlusal surface can interface and function optimally with the teeth in the opposing arch, the Core Line depth is between 0 and 2.5 mm deep, the Core Line length equals the sum of the mesiodistal diameters of the teeth in the arch, the skeletal width of the maxilla is in harmony with the skeletal width of the mandible (see Element III) and shapes of the maxillary and mandibular arches are compatible.
ELEMENT II – Optimal Anterior/Posterior (AP) Jaw Positions9-13
The AP position of the maxilla is optimal when the Facial Axis points (FA pts) of Element I maxillary incisors are on the Goal Anterior Limit Line (GALL). The best method for assessing this relationship is clinical judgment. The AP position of the mandible is optimal when it is in centric relation, the incisors are Element I and they interface optimally with Element I incisors in an optimal maxilla.
ELEMENT III – Optimal Jaw Widths14
The width of the mandible is naturally optimal for most individuals. The width of the maxilla is optimal when the distance X’ mm (measured between the mesio-lingual cusp tips of Element I maxillary first molars) is equal to the distance X mm (measured between the central fossae of the Element I mandibular first molars).
ELEMENT IV – Optimal Jaw Heights15-25
Jaw heights are optimal when: the tooth positions are Element I, the middle anterior, lower anterior, and posterior face heights are in harmony with each other, the maxillary incisors’ FA pts are level with the lower border of the upper lip in repose, and the occlusal plane is in harmony with function and esthetics.
ELEMENT V – Optimal Chin Prominence26-28
Chin prominence is measured independently of the mandible’s AP position. Assuming normal soft tissue thickness, chin prominence is optimal when pogonion matches the prominence of the FA points of Element I mandibular central incisors.
ELEMENT VI – Optimal Occlusion29-31
The requirements for an optimal occlusion include: Element I teeth and arches, the Element II, III, and IV jaw characteristics, and the Six Keys to Optimal Occlusion. Collectively, Elements I through IV create the environment within which an esthetic, functional, and healthy occlusion can exist. The Six Keys to Optimal Occlusion are:
Orofacial harmony exists when the Six Elements are present. Even though people differ in size, shape, gender, age, and race, those variables have seem to have little influence on the optimal positions and relationships of the teeth, arches, and jaws when measured relative to the Six Elements.
Each Element is diagnosed using landmarks and referents that are, tangible, unique, and universal. They make possible a new three-dimensional and positionally-correct classification system called the Six Elements Classification System. This system provides orthodontics with the much needed ability to accurately communicate a patient’s condition relative to the intended post-treatment plan.
1. Andrews LF. Andrews WA. The six elements of orofacial harmony. Andrews J. 2000;1:13-22.
2. Trivino T, Siqueira DF, Andrews WA. Evaluation of the distances between the mandibular teeth and the WALA Ridge in a Brazilian sample with normal occlusion. AJODO. 2010;137(3):308-309 (online only).
3. Ronay V, Miner RM, Will LA, Arai K. Mandibular arch form: The relationship between dental and basal anatomy. AJODO. 2008;134(3):430-438.
4. Gupta D, Miner RM, Arai K, Will L. Comparison of the mandibular dental and basal arch forms in adults and children with Class I and Class II malocclusions. AJODO. 2010;138(1):10-11 (online only).
5. Ball RL, Miner RM, Will L, Arai K. Comparison of dental and apical base arch forms in Class II Division 1 and Class I malocclusions. AJODO. 2010;138(1):41-50.
6. Conti MF, Vedovello M, Vedovello SAS, Valdrighi HC, Kuramae M. Longitudinal evaluation of dental arches individualized by the WALA ridge method. Dental Press J Orthod. 2011;16(2):65-74.
7. Weaver KE, Tremont TJ, Ngan P, Fields H, Dischinger T, Martin C, Richards M, Gunel E. Changes in dental and basal archforms with preformed and customized archwires during orthodontic treatment. Ortho Waves 2012;71:45-50.
8. Sangcharearm Y, Ho C. Maxillary incisor angulation and its effect on molar relationships. Angle Orthod. 2007;77(2):221-225.
9. Andrews LF. Andrews WA. The six elements of orofacial harmony. Andrews J. 2000;1:13-22.
10. Andrews WA. AP relationship of the maxillary central incisors to the forehead in adult white females. Angle Orthod. 2008;78(4):662-669.
11. Schlosser JB, Preston CB, Lampasso J. The effects of computer-aided anteroposterior maxillary incisor movement on ratings of facial attractiveness. AJODO. 2005;127(1):17-24.
12. Cao L, Zhang K, Bai D, Tian Y, Guo Y. Effect of maxillary incisor labiolingual inclination and anteroposterior position on smiling profile esthetics. Angle Orthod. 2011;81(1):121-129.
13. Agostino P (et al). Perception of the maxillary incisor position with respect to the protrusion of the nose and chin. Progress in Orthodontics 2007;8(2):230-239.
14. Andrews LF. Andrews WA. The six elements of orofacial harmony. Andrews J. 2000;1:13-22.
15. Andrews LF. Andrews WA. The six elements of orofacial harmony. Andrews J. 2000;1:13-22.
16. Powell H, Humphreys B. Proportions of the aesthetic face. Thieme-Stratton Inc.. New York, NY. 1984.
17. Varlik SK, Demirbas E, Orhan M. Influence of lower face height changes on frontal facial attractiveness and perception of treatment need by lay people. Angle Orthod. 2010;80(6):1159-1164.
18. Geron S, Wasserstein A. Influence of sex on the perception of oral and smile esthetics with different gingival display and incisal plane inclination. Angle Orthod. 2005;75(5):778-784.
19. Hulsey CM. An esthetic evaluation of lip-teeth relationships present in the smile. Am J Orthod. 1970;57(2):132-144.
20. Batwa W, Hunt NP, Petrie A, Gill D. Effect of occlusal plane on smile attractiveness. Angle Orthod. 2012;82(2):218-223.
21. Sarver DM. The importance of incisor positioning in the esthetic smile: The smile arc. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2001;120:98-111
Copyright 2013 Dr. Will A. Andrews All rights reserved 7
22. Farkas LG, Katic MJ, Hreczko TA, Deutsch C, Munro IR. Anthropometric proportions in the upper lip-lower lip-chin area of the lower face in young white adults. Am J Orthod. 1984;86(1):52-60.
23. Ioi H, Yasutomi H, Nakata S, Nakasima A, Counts AL. Effect of lower facial vertical proportion on facial attractiveness in Japanese. Orthodontic Waves 2006;65(4):161-165.
24. Naini FB, Donaldson ANA, McDonald F, Cobourne MT. Influence of chin height on perceived attractiveness in the orthognathic patient, layperson, and clinician. Angle Orthod. 2012;82(1):88-95.
25. Knight H, Keith O. Ranking facial attractiveness. Eur J Orthod. 2005;27:340-348.
26. Andrews LF. Andrews WA. The six elements of orofacial harmony. Andrews J. 2000;1:13-22.
27. Holdaway RA. A soft tissue cephalometric analysis and its use in orthodontic treatment planning. Part I. Am J Orthod 1983;84:1-28
28. Holdaway RA. A soft tissue cephalometric analysis and its use in orthodontic treatment planning. Part II. Am J Orthod 1984;85:279-93
29. Andrews LF. Andrews WA. The six elements of orofacial harmony. Andrews J. 2000;1:13-22.
30. Andrews LF. The Six Keys to Normal (Optimal) Occlusion. AJO. 1972;62:296-309.
31. Andrews LF. Straight-Wire-The Concept and Appliance. San Diego, CA. L.A. Wells Co., 1989