A person’s smile is a critical aspect of their personality. Many people want to improve the quality of their smile due to problems with their teeth. Many studies show that a nice smile provides a variety of benefits in a person’s personal and professional life.
Dr. Anne Beall is a social psychologist who conducted a study on the benefits of improved smiles in 2006. This study was sponsored by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and centered on the photographs of eight people, four of each gender. Two photographs were taken of each person, one photograph taken before the subject received cosmetic dentistry and the other photograph taken after treatment. None of the subjects had extremely bad dental health such as missing teeth or rotten teeth.
Two subjects in the study showed a mild improvement in their smiles, two subjects showed a moderate improvement and four subjects showed a major improvement. The photographs of four subjects were shown to a group of 264 respondents representing a statistically valid cross section of adults in the United States. Photographs of the other four subjects were shown to a different group of 264 respondents. The respondents were asked to rate each photograph on ten characteristics. The rating scale ranged from one to ten, one being the lowest rating and ten being the highest rating.
This study showed that cosmetic dentistry produced a statistically significant improvement in all ten characteristics. The greatest improvements were observed in general attractiveness, sexual attractiveness, wealth and career success.
The average rating of general attractiveness was 4.6 before cosmetic dentistry and 5.9 after treatment, providing an average improvement of 1.3. Sexual attractiveness increased from 5.0 to 6.2 for an improvement of 1.2. The perception of wealth improved from 4.9 to 5.9 for an increase of 1.0. The perception of career success went from 5.8 to 6.7, increasing the average rating by 0.9.
A subject’s average rating on the characteristic of “interesting” increased from 5.4 to 6.1 after cosmetic dentistry, for an improvement of 0.7. The increase in perceived intelligence was 0.6, from 5.9 to 6.5. The subject’s apparent happiness improved from 6.2 to 6.8, for an increase of 0.6.
The subject’s perceived friendliness went from 6.3 to 6.8, improving this characteristic by 0.5. Sensitivity also increased by 0.5, from 5.6 to 6.1. The improvement on kindness was 0.4, from 6.0 to 6.4.