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New smile may not make you happier

Dentists need support of health psychologists to enhance patients’ satisfaction with their appearance before they embark on aesthetic dental procedure

These are the findings of a study by Sharmila Sarin, supervised by Dr Koula Asimakopoulou, and colleagues from King’s College London that were presented today (Wednesday) at the Division of Health Psychology's annual conference in Brighton.

In the study, 60 participants completed the Slade Body Satisfaction Scale and a Visual Analogue Scale, assessing satisfaction with their appearance before and after their dental work.

They also completed a short version of the Big Five personality test before their operation.

Irrespective of the dental procedure performed, people who were happiest about their appearance before receiving aesthetic dental treatment were those that were the happiest after treatment; dissatisfaction with one’s appearance seen in those high on neuroticism persisted after aesthetic dental work. 

Sharmila Sarin and Dr Koula Asimakopoulou said: 'We wanted to establish whether personality and the views that people have about their appearance before receiving aesthetic dental treatment would influence satisfaction with the outcomes of aesthetic dental procedures.

'We found that it is in the patients’ and dentists’ interest to ensure that patients receiving aesthetic dental work start from as high a point of satisfaction with current appearance as possible.

'This will enhance the chances that they will be satisfied with the results of aesthetic dental treatment. Neuroticism is also likely to interfere with satisfaction with aesthetic dental work.'

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