Esthetics and psyche-part 1: assessment of the influence of patients' perceptions of body image and body experience on selection of existing natural tooth color

Int J Prosthodont. Jan-Feb 2012;25(1):36-43.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attention
  • Attitude
  • Awareness
  • Beauty
  • Body Image*
  • Color
  • Esthetics, Dental*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Care
  • Self Concept*
  • Sex Factors
  • Tooth / anatomy & histology*