Int J Esthet Dent 10 (2015), No. 2 21. Apr. 2015
Aim and objectives: To determine whether or not people from different ethnic backgrounds have different attitudes towards dental esthetics and chose different dental appearances in terms of tooth shade, and to determine whether the dental professional's choice and the individual's own choice have any relationship with what the individual ideally perceives as esthetically pleasing. Methodology: For this cross-sectional analytical study, 120 volunteer students from the University of Sheffield (excepting dental students) from various ethnic backgrounds, of different ages, of both genders, and with varying degree/educational levels were recruited from the campus. The volunteers were asked to complete a questionnaire containing 9 adapted attitudinal statements regarding positive or negative dental esthetic perceptions in terms of tooth shade, with responses on a 5-point Likert scale from "Entirely agree" to "Entirely disagree". Scores for all attitudinal statements were summed up to give an attitudinal score. The participants' ideal, perceived, and actual (self-assessed and investigatorassessed) tooth shade was also determined using a shade guide and a facial mirror.
Results: No association between ethnicity and attitudinal score was found. However, statistically significant associations were found between the participants' degree/educational level (P = 0.004, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = -4.18 to -0.82) and their ideal tooth shade value (P = 0.038, 95% CI = -3.53 to -0.11). There were strong correlations between self-assessed and professionally assessed tooth shade value in all ethnic groups, with Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (rho) being ρ > 0.6. Regarding ideally desired and perceived tooth shade value, weak correlations were found in all ethnic groups (Spearman's rho being ρ < 0.4).
Conclusion: Although no significant association was found in this sample between ethnicity and attitude towards dental esthetics with regard to tooth shade, both ethnicity and dental esthetics are very diverse terms with multiple dimensions, each of which needs further investigation with regard to their mutual association.