Dentists and patients disagree on the perfect smile

Having a hard time convincing some patients that they really need cosmetic work? Maybe patients think their smile looks better than you think it does. Or so says a study in the latest issue of JADA.

The study looked at 78 adults visiting a private practice in rural Norway. They were asked to rank their smiles on a visual analog scale, with one end of the spectrum being "not pleased" and the other, "very pleased." On average, patients rated their smiles at 59.1, while their own dentist and an independent periodontist rated them at 40.7 and 38.6 respectively.

However, even with a satisfaction level of only 59.1 these patents' were not seeking aesthetic treatment. The study therefore raised the question, "should dentists give patients unsolicited advice on how to improve their appearance?" Although the study didn't answer this question, it does remind dentists that patients who ask for aesthetic treatment may have a different perception of their smile than patients who don't ask for such treatment.

Page 1 of 107
Next Page