Many people with dental problems such as crooked or missing teeth can now get treatment at a reasonable cost.
However recent research by health psychologists suggests that getting treatment is no guarantee to put the smile back on a patient’s face.
Seemingly the happiest patients were those who were happy prior to treatment. This appears to contradict the common sense view that people who are unhappy with their dental appearance will become happy afterwards.
Lead researchers, Sharmila Sarin and Dr Koula Asimakopoulou who carried out a personality test on 60 participants said that they were looking at how patients perceive their psychological wellbeing, and whether this changes after cosmetic dental treatment.
The health psychologists looked at how the individual’s personality changes or not prior to any treatment being performed. The 4 personality dimensions are neuroticism – psychoticism and introversion – extraversion based on the earlier work of Hans Eysenck.
A person who is described as neurotic for instance would worry unnecessarily about treatment.
It has been generally thought that people who undergo any form of cosmetic procedure do so to try and improve their self-esteem. This latest research seems to confirm other research that this is not the case in most people.
In short, those with low self-esteem may not improve this aspect of their personality just by having cosmetic dental or medical surgery.