Dentists may need the support of psychologists to enhance patients’ satisfaction with their appearance before they embark on aesthetic dental procedures, according to the findings of a new British study. 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 who were the happiest after treatment; dissatisfaction with one’s appearance seen in those high on neuroticism persisted after aesthetic dental work.

The study, conducted by Sharmila Sarin and colleagues from King’s College London, and supervised by Dr Koula Asimakopoulou, was presented at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Health Psychology annual conference.??

Sarin and 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.”