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Volume 19 , Issue 5
September/October 2006

Pages 449454

General Well-Being as an Important Co-factor of Self-Assessment of Dental Appearance

Stefan Wolfart, DDS, Dr Med Dent / Anne Catrin Quaas, DDS, Dr Med Dent / Sandra Freitag, Dr Rer Nat / Peter Kropp, Dr Rer Nat, PhD / Wolf-Dieter Gerber, Dr Rer Nat, PhD / Matthias Kern, DDS, Dr Med Dent, PhD

PMID: 17323722

Purpose: This study aimed to correlate the general well-being of patients and their judgment about their dental appearance. Materials and Methods: Based on internationally accepted guidelines regarding dental esthetics, a questionnaire was developed to measure subjective assessments of dental appearance. Fourteen items defined an esthetic sum score (0 = satisfied; 56 = dissatisfied). Further, general well-being was evaluated with a long-established and highly reliable test. Eighty participants were included (47 women, 33 men). Participants were drawn from 4 different groups (n = 20): natural dentition (group N), fixed partial dentures (group F), removable partial dentures (group R), and patients who had an esthetic problem with their teeth (group P). Results: Seventy-five participants showed a normal well-being. Five participants showed a depressive state and formed a new group (group D). The medians of the sum scores (25th, 75th percentile) were: group N: 12 (10, 14); group F: 14 (8, 29); group R: 14 (9, 27); group P: 23 (18, 35); group D: 30 (26, 35). Significant differences were found between groups N and P, as well as between group D and groups N, F, and R. Conclusion: Because of the significant difference between groups N and P, basis validation of the sum score was achieved. Further, self-assessments of dental appearance appeared to be more negative for participants with a depressive state compared with the other groups. In clinical studies, selection bias can be prevented by using a test that measures well-being to verify if a study sample includes a normal number of depressive subjects and therefore represents the general population. Int J Prosthodont 2006;19:449454.

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