Frequently Asked Questions: 


Q: Who is able to submit an entry? 

Any current member dentist or technician of the AACD is able to submit an entry.

Q: What are the three categories of entries? 

There are three entry groups: 

Rising Stars”: Open to member students/residents, member dentists and technicians who have been practicing for 10 years or less out of school.  

“Smile Design Aficionados”: Open to member dentists and technicians who have been practicing more than 10 years out of school.

"Smile Art": Open to member students/residents, all member dentists and technicians regardless of years in practice.  This category explores the creative display of dental art in the smile with portrait and/or closeup of the smile.

Q.  What kind of dentistry needs to be done on the photographed patient?

In order to qualify each case (other than Smile Art category) must have four maxillary anterior teeth (#7-#10) that have been enhanced with porcelain or composite restorations.
The Smile Art category does not have any clinical requirements.

Q.  Can I have a professional photographer take my photos? 

Photos must be taken by the dentist and technician team, and the completed work must be the original work of the individuals submitting. Clinical as well as photographic information must be provided on the submission form.


Q: How will I know if my submission is complete, and what do I do if it’s not?  

If a submission is incomplete (e.g. the images have not been uploaded correctly or payment has not be received) at midnight on March 12, 2021 (submission deadline), it will not be eligible for the competition. We are not responsible for incomplete entries and are unable to offer a refund, should an entry be incomplete at the time of the competition’s close. 

Q: How should I submit my photographs for the competition? 

First you must read the competition disclaimer here.  Download and have patient sign the Photo Release which can be found in the middle of the Home page or on the “Enter” page of the online portal. Then complete the online submission form filling in all necessary required details about your entry. Upload your photos and the signed photo release form. To complete your entry, utilize the payment tab and pay the necessary fees.  You must do all these things together, so please gather all documents before you begin the submission process.

Q: What specs should the digital files have? 

Digital images should be high resolution (300 dpi), at least 5MB per image. Save as JPG compression high.

Q: My image/photo release did not upload correctly. What should I do? 

Make sure that the file is saved in JPG format, and check that the name contains ONLY letters and numbers (no other characters or symbols).

Please note - there are two steps to uploading your images: First you will need to select your "After" image by clicking the “Browse” button, and then once the image is selected, click “upload” to upload that image to our server.
Repeat this process for the "Before" image and the Photo Release.

If you still have problems uploading your images after following these steps, you may also try to refresh your main submission page. Otherwise, contact us for assistance at 

Q: How many photographs do I need to submit? 

- For Rising Stars Designers and Smile Design Aficionados categories:  One high resolution “After” photograph and one “Before” photograph. The “After” photograph must be full face headshot.  The "After" headshot can be studio or outdoor portraits, but should clearly show the smile in focus.
- For Smile Art category:  Only one photo of your artistic presentation of the smile in either portrait or smile close-up.  NO before photo needed for this category.  NO dentistry needs to be done.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of entries I can submit? 

No, you may submit as many entries as you wish in your corresponding categories.

Q: Is there a time frame within which the photographs should have been taken? 

No, there is no time frame on photographs. 

Q: Can I submit a photograph that has won an award, or has been entered in a previous competition, or in another competition? 

Yes, you may submit work that has been previously submitted to another photography competition, or that has previously won an award. However, in an effort to promote the creation of new work and maintain a fresh flow of ideas, we encourage you to submit new work as much as possible.

Q: Can I make changes to my entry after I have paid? No, after payment has been made, entries cannot be altered. Please review your submission carefully before finalizing payment.

Q: How do I know if you received my entry? You will receive a confirmation email after you submit and pay for your work and once your submission is approved. If you do not receive an email, please verify that your email is correct.  You can send an inquiry to


Q: How can I pay for the photographs that I submit?

Online: You may pay for your non-refundable entry fee at the time of submission using the online submission form.  The portal uses the Stripe payment gateway which allows you to pay by credit cards.

Q: What is the Entry Fee, and are all the fees on your website in USD?

The Entry Fee is $125 for each entry. Yes, at this time we only accept US currency.


Q: How and where will my image(s) be used/shown?

You can promote your own entry via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and emails using the link provided via the Share option in the “Gallery” section of the online portal.  By participating in the competition, you are agreeing to be included in any publication that may showcase the full collection of participants and winning images.

After the competition ends, your image may be used in AACD related materials and AACD Smile Portrait Competition related materials.

Q: Will I be compensated for the use of my images?

There will be no monetary remuneration for the use of your image in AACD related materials and AACD Smile Portrait Competition materials.


Q: When will Voting begin?

There will be one round of voting.  This is a change due to the cancellation of the 2021 annual conference.

Round 1 – Open to the public online.  All members of the public including AACD members can vote.  This voting period will begin at 6PM CST March 15th, 2021 and will end at Midnight CST April 14th, 2021.

Anyone can vote during this period.  Voters must verify their vote by submitting an email address.  Each person can only vote once for each entry in the three categories.

There are direct share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, and Email where a link of your entry will be placed in the corresponding platform for you to share the entry.  For Instagram you will have to copy the corresponding links and create your Instagram posts at your convenience.

Q: When are the winners announced?

Winners will be announced on  April 16 via an AACD hosted online event.

Q: How are the winners notified?

Participants will be able to see the winners announced through the web portal. The AACD will host and online event to annouce the winner of the competition.  The AACD will also announce the winners through their communication channels.

Q: What prizes do the winners receive?

From the Public and Members Votes prior to the Annual Scientific Session:

People's Choice awards for Rising Stars category

People’s Choice awards for Smile Design Afficionados category

People's Choice for Smile Art category

The Award will be a glass plaque for each entry.

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