Aesthetic Perceptions - Is There a Difference?

H. Ali, F. Burke, G. McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


Introduction: In recent times, the demand for aesthetic dentistry has increased, with patients presenting for treatment expecting an improvement in their aesthetics. Therefore, it is increasingly important for the dental profession to appreciate perceptions of dental aesthetics in order to provide a patient-centred service.

Objectives: The aim of this study is to quantify perceptions of aesthetics using a cross-sectional survey design. The hypotheses being tested were that differences exist in aesthetic perceptions of 1) dentists and dental students, 2) different age ranges and 3) gender.

Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to dental staff and students in the Cork University Dental School and Hospital. The questionnaire sought information relating to aesthetic perceptions by asking participants to compare photographs of smiles.

Results: 100 questionnaires were returned. It was found that differences existed in perceptions of dentists and dental students when certain aspects of a smile were evaluated, in particular when a minor flaw was present in a smile in addition to the major flaw being tested. Assuming that flaws were detected, more dental students (34%) than dentists (26%) were found to prioritise colour above more subtle flaws, such as a centreline shift. However, most results between the two groups are comparable in terms of their prioritising of importance of particular aspects of a smile, with no large significant differences.

Conclusion: Differences exist in aesthetic perceptions of dentists and dental students, especially with regard to tooth colour.
Original languageEnglish
Article number267
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue numberSpec. Iss C
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventPan European Federation of IADR - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 10 Sep 200812 Sep 2008

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