Purpose: The aim of this research was to test the hypothesis that patients' attitudes toward their body affect their capacity to accurately select their existing natural tooth color.
Materials and methods: Standard validated psychologic assessments were used to determine a person's perception of body image and experience. Oral images were compared with the patients' perceptions of their natural tooth color, which were then compared with the actual tooth color judged by a dental professional.
Results: For the vital body dynamic and disliking body experience subscales, women exhibited a significantly more negative attitude toward their bodies than men (P = .000). Patients with a negative attitude toward their body tended to choose a lighter tooth color. The correlation between patients' and the testing physician's choices of color was r = 0.540 for women and r = 0.746 for men.
Conclusions: Unhappiness with body image and experience results in poor perception of a patient's own oral image, which in turn results in a patient perceiving that his or her natural tooth color is lighter than that judged by a dental professional. This has clinical implications when trying to achieve patient satisfaction with dental prostheses.