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Effects of Visual Stimuli from Media on the Perception of Dentofacial Esthetics

  • Laus, Iva1
  • Kovačević Pavičić, Daniela2
  • Brumini, Martina3
  • Perković, Vjera4
  • Pavlić, Andrej4
  • Špalj, Stjepan5
  • 1 Public Health Center Karlovac
  • 2 Faculty of Dental Medicine and Health, Department of Dental Medicine 2, Osijek , (Croatia)
  • 3 Public Health Center Rijeka
  • 4 Department of Orthodontics, Rijeka , (Croatia)
  • 5 Faculty of Dental Medicine and Health, Department of Dental Medicine 1, Osijek , (Croatia)
Published Article
Acta Stomatologica Croatica
University of Zagreb School of Dental Medicine, and Croatian Dental Society - Croatian Medical Association
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2020
DOI: 10.15644/asc54/3/6
PMID: 33132391
PMCID: PMC7586892
PubMed Central
  • Original Scientific Papers


Objectives The study explored whether television commercials change the perception of one's own dentofacial attractiveness and to identify if it is influenced by personality traits. Materials and methods The sample included 83 participants, aged 19-27 years. The experimental group (N=42) watched commercials portraying famous young individuals with high smile esthetics, bright teeth and no visible malocclusions, while the control group (N=41) watched neutral commercials (without people or visible teeth). The perception of subjects` own orofacial esthetics and its psychosocial effects were assessed a month before the exposure and immediately after it. The subjects` malocclusion severity and personality characteristics (extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, intellect, self-esteem and perfectionism) were assessed. Results In their second report, respondents were inclined to report less psychosocial impacts with small differences (ranging from 0-3 scalar points on average) and less significant in the active group compared to neutral group (2 out of 7 vs. 5 out of 7 aspects). Types of visual stimuli were a significant predictor only of changes pertaining to psychological impact of dental esthetics (p=0.045; r=0.221). The intellect moderated perception of smile esthetics, after having been exposed to commercials, accentuated beautiful smiles as a suppressor (ΔR2=0.076; p=0.005; total model R2=0.347; p=0.033). In subjects with higher cognitive abilities, an increase in the self-perceived malocclusion level induced a smaller decrease in psychological impact of dental esthetics as compared to those with lower intellect. Conclusion Psychosocial influences of malocclusion are not stable and tend to decrease during time. However, the exposure to a high smile esthetic of other individuals can inhibit that process in persons with more severe malocclusion and higher cognitive abilities.

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