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Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2009 Aug;37(4):350-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.2009.00469.x. Epub 2009 Apr 13.

Symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder among people presenting for cosmetic dental treatment: a comparative study of cosmetic dental patients and a general population sample.

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Department of Social Dentistry and Behavioural Sciences, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



To determine appearance concerns of patients presenting for cosmetic treatment.


This cross-sectional comparative study included consecutive patients of six different cosmetic clinics (n = 170), and a sample of the general population (n = 878). A study-specific self-report questionnaire was administered to document demographic and appearance concerns. Presence of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) was assessed based on DSM-IV criteria.


Cosmetic dental patients did not differ from the reference sample with regard to happiness and satisfaction as regards their appearance. However, differences were found with regard to frequency of previous general cosmetic (16.5% versus 5.9%) and cosmetic dental (47.9% versus 24.8%) procedures. Furthermore, a significantly higher proportion of the cosmetic dental patients sufficed for the two key screening criteria of BDD (9.5% versus 5.5%), and for the full diagnostic screening of BDD (4.2% versus 1.5%) compared with the respondents of the reference group.


The results suggest that symptoms of BDD are relatively common among patients attending cosmetic clinics. It is important to assess the long-term effects of comprehensive cosmetic procedures, particularly in patients with disproportionate appearance concerns.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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