Method: As part of the ongoing Iowa Fluoride Study, adolescent-parent pairs completed esthetic perception questionnaires when adolescents were at age 13 and two years later when they were at age 15. The questionnaire had three main parts asking about level of satisfaction (very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied and very dissatisfied) with overall dental appearance, overall dental color and specific dental esthetic-related factors causing concerns. Binomial proportion tests were used to assess proportions of subjects who showed change in perceptions. Bowker test of symmetry was used to assess the direction of change.
Result: Excluding subjects with orthodontic treatment, 165 adolescents and their parents were included. About 80% of adolescents and 84% of parents were somewhat to very satisfied with overall dental appearance and 84% of adolescents and 78% of parents were somewhat to very satisfied with overall dental color at both ages. Among dental esthetic-related factors, tooth color was the most prevalent cause of concern (more than 40%) and tooth shape, spacing and crowding were the least prevalent at both ages 13 and 15 (less than 20% for each concern). The majority of parents had no change in their assessment of adolescent’s overall dental appearance (71% stable vs. 29% changed, p<0.0001). A greater proportion of adolescents showed change in satisfaction with overall dental appearance (55% stable vs. 45% changed, p>0.05). Adolescents that changed their opinion on overall satisfaction level were fairly evenly split between improvement and decline (46% vs. 54%, P>0.05).
Conclusion: About half of adolescents showed change in level of satisfaction with overall dental appearance from age 13 to 15, whereas parents generally had less change in satisfaction level with their adolescent’s dental appearance.
Keywords: Adolescence, Esthetics and Perception
See more of: Behavioral, Epidemiologic, and Health Services Research