Esthetics & Function: Incisal Edge Bevels

There are three critical components to the incisal edge anatomy of anterior teeth. Understanding the function and esthetics of the pitch and two bevels is essential to creating an ideal patient result.

How can a clinician re-create the full anatomic form of the tooth in ceramics and composite? 

In my last blog on this topic, I discussed the dimensions, characterization, esthetics, restorative approach and challenge of mimicking ‘pitch‘ esthetics. Now, I’ll delve into mastering the bevels to create superior restorative results. Combining an esthetic pitch with functional bevels will ensure a smooth composite or ceramic outcome.

Components of Incisal Edge Anatomy Function and Esthetics: Bevels

The two bevels can be found on alternately the labial and the lingual of the transition zone between the pitch and these surfaces. They are often called the leading edge and the trailing edge.


Dimensions: The bevels on both sides have a variable width. They can be between less than a millimeter to multiple millimeters long.

Characterization: The bevels lengthen in patients who grind their teeth in an excursive pathway pattern. Patients who parafunction edge to edge might eliminate the bevel. This makes it easier to shear enamel off on the labial or lingual side of the tooth. It also could result in chipping the edge enamel.

Function: The bevel is a transition zone to create smooth functional movement passing from excursive movements onto the pitch. Intercuspal stops on lower incisors are often on or gingival to the bevel.

Whether you are finalizing an equilibration, the occlusion on composites, or ceramics, perfecting anterior guidance is all about both pitch and bevel surfaces. These critical components are a great example of marrying form and function in your technique.

What is your restorative approach for recreating incisal edge anatomy? We’d love to hear from you in the comments! 

Lee Ann Brady DMD

Dr. Lee Ann Brady is passionate about dentistry, her family and making a difference. She is a general dentist and owns a practice in Glendale, AZ limited to restorative dentistry. Lee’s passion for dental education began as a CE junkie herself, pursuing lots of advanced continuing education focused on Restorative and Occlusion. In 2005, she became a full time resident faculty member for The Pankey Institute, and was promoted to Clinical Director in 2006. Lee joined Spear Education as Executive VP of Education in the fall of 2008 to teach and coordinate the educational curriculum. In June of 2011, she left Spear Education, founded and joined the dental practice she now owns as an associate. Today, she teaches at dental meetings and study clubs both nationally and internationally, continues to write for dental journals and her website, sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Inside Dentistry and DentalTown Magazines and is the Director of Education for The Pankey Institute.

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