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Eur J Orthod. 2004 Oct;26(5):507-14.

Dental aesthetics, self-awareness, and oral health-related quality of life in young adults.

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Departments of Orthodontics, University of Mainz, Germany.


The aim of the present study was to explore the putative relationship between dental aesthetics and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL), taking into consideration the potential direct and moderating influence of private and public self-consciousness. The subjects of this cross-sectional survey were 148 university students. Dental aesthetics were assessed by means of the aesthetic component (AC) of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN). OHRQoL was estimated using a modification of the scales 'social appearance concern' and 'appearance disapproval', and a novel dental self-confidence scale. In addition, the private and public self-consciousness scales were used. Two-factor analyses of variance were carried out with high and low levels of dental aesthetics and private and public self-consciousness as the independent variables and the OHRQoL scales as the dependent variables. It was found that dental aesthetics had a direct effect on all OHRQoL scale values. Private self-consciousness was related to social appearance concern, while public self-consciousness was associated with both social appearance concern and appearance disapproval. An interaction effect was identified which showed that the impact of dental aesthetics on social appearance concern was stronger in respondents with high private and public self-consciousness than in low scoring subjects. The findings of the study suggest that minor differences in dental aesthetics may have a significant effect on perceived OHRQoL. This effect was more significant in subjects with high self-consciousness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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