The perception of others based on oral aesthetics
Oral aesthetics, with certainty, contribute to social relationships and improve the self-esteem of patients, and therefore their well-being,” explains Víctor Cubillo, medical director of Artedental.
The mobile phone, social networks, selfies, applications to retouch images. Currently there are multiple tools that make it easy for our image to be displayed at all times as a showcase for Oxford Street. The writer Naomi Klein told a recent interview with a popular Spanish journalist, Jordi Évole, that an important number of young people have gone from showing logos in their belongings to becoming logos for themselves, in their reference to how they perceive their work “No Logo “almost twenty years later. In the digital universe, you can always choose the best photo among forty, which makes an idealized image of ourselves. The intention is not only to like us. Obviously, it’s about liking others.
The perception that others build of us, especially in the first encounters, influences multiple aspects of social life. If we prepare for a job interview or a first appointment, clothing or personal hygiene are fundamental in the impression we will cause. Dental aesthetics also contribute a great deal to these perceptions, although erroneously it seems more subtle.
The diseases, the disorders related to the mouth go beyond a health problem. Just a year ago, Austin Frakt, director of the Partnered Evidence-Based Policy Resource Center at the V.A. Boston Healthcare System, published in The New York Times: “People with bad teeth can be stigmatised, both in social settings and in finding employ-ment. Studies document that we make judgments about one another – including about intelligence – according to the aesthetics of teeth and mouth.”
“The aesthetic question in oral health has become a factor of great importance in recent decades. We, as professionals, al-ways add functionality (a correct bite will affect, for example, an adequate digestion or the absence of cervical discomfort), but today we emphasise that oral aesthetics, with certainty, contributes to social relationships and improves the self-esteem of patients, “,explains Víctor Cubillo, medical director of one of the clinics with the longest route in the Canary Islands in the placement of dental implants, Artedental.
In fact, there are many investigations that have this factor as the axis. In 2014, the American Association of Orthodontists published “Do dental esthetics have any influence on finding a job?” and concluded that, after showing photographs to human resources personnel of various companies, the photographs of people with ideal dental esthetics were, on average, evaluated as superior with respect to intelligence and likelihood of being hired than were the photographs of the same subjects with nonideal dental esthetics.
On the other hand, the research published by The International Journal of Prosthodontics, The Impact of Dental Appearance on the Appraisal of Personal Characteristics, this time in 2003, aimed to find out the influence of dental appearance on the perception of characteristics such as competence or intellectual ability. The re-search stated that “participants judged subjects with less dental disease to be more socially competent, to show greater intellectual achievement, and to have better psychologic adjustment”, and concluded that, “in the absence of other information, the judgments an individual makes concerning the personal characteristics of others are influenced by dental appearance “.
The level of comfort that we feel with respect to our mouth will also favour that we smile more or less frequently. And this also influences perception. A study by the University of Claire Conway, University of Aberdeen (United Kingdom), has shown that people who in a first contact smile and look directly in the eyes are more attractive and interesting to their interlocutors. The subjects interviewed in the study stated that they felt more comfortable with happy faces and with confidence. If we accept that dental aesthetics have a decisive influence, for example, on achieving a job, as some of these investigations conclude, a mouth perceived as not very aesthetic will also function as a factor of inequality.
But there is a solution. “The disorders associated with dental aesthetics are mainly changes in enamel coloration, tooth wear caused by malocclusion (bruxism), asymmetries, fractures and, in the most extreme cases, the absence of teeth” , explains the director of Artedental. “All this influences not only the autestima, but in the social perception. We are fortunate that dentistry has developed spectacular treatments to correct these defects, improving the well-being of a large part of the population. We are talking about orthodontics, whitening, placement of implants, veneers or bridges. Each individual will find the most appropriate solution to their problem after a personalised study, and nowadays in dental clinics we can offer truly dignifying solutions to practically everyone, “he concludes.