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

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.

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Department of Prosthodontics, University Hospital Erlangen, Germany.



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.


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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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