Cosmetic Dentistry and Sexuality

Excerpted from Chapter 5
Tick Tock, Stop the Clock ~ Getting Pretty on Your Lunch Hour

Martin H. Zase, DMD, MADG, AAACD

S-E-X is a catchy word, to be sure, but I didn’t choose it simple to grab your attention. Sexuality is inherently related to our appearance, when improved good looks boost our self-esteem and our attractiveness to others. Many studies confirm this observation, but if you are still in doubt, let me share one further study and several patient antidotes to prove my point.

The Beall – AACD Survey
Does cosmetic dentistry really make you look more attractive? Will anybody notice? Does the look of your teeth really make any difference in what people think about you? And how you feel about yourself? The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry ( wanted to find out the answers to these questions so they contacted a national research company, Beall Research and Training, Inc., to get reliable answers.

The study was fascinating. Four men and four women were photographed before and after cosmetic dentistry. Some had undergone extreme dental changes, while others had mild to moderate smile makeovers. The photos were then divided into two sets of four Befores and four Afters, with no set having the before and after of the same person. Then the surveyors sought out respondents over the Internet, making sure that the percentage of the respondents with certain ey had a confidence variable (reliability factor) of +/- 4% which means it was scientifically very accurate in reflecting the opinions of the American public.

The respondents were asked to rate the people they saw in the pictures from one to ten on each of the following categories: attractive, intelligent, happy, successful in their career, friendly, interesting, kind, wealthy, popular with the opposite sex, and sensitive to other people.

The results of the analysis were subjected to standardized significance tests and they were amazingly consistent. Every single one of the ten categories went up in the afters compared to the befores, and every one of the results was statistically significant.

Not surprisingly, the category that went up the most was “attractive” with “popular with the opposite sex” next in line. But the respondents also thought that the folks in the afters group were more successful in their careers and wealthier. Now remember, the only difference between the before and after photos was cosmetic dentistry. The new smiles also had the respondents believing that the patients were more interesting, intelligent, happy, friendly, sensitive and kind - all from just getting some cosmetic dentistry done.

Another interesting result was that the evaluations on those who had undergone cosmetic dentistry generated equally positive responses on male and female patients.

To quote from the study, “In everyday life, we form impressions of others all the time. We may decide to approach or engage with someone largely based on their appearance. The results of this study show that one’s teeth play a significant role in the perception others have of our appearance and our personality.” (Beall Research & Training, Inc. --AAACD Survey)

Does cosmetic dentistry really make a difference? You bet it does. Cosmetic dentistry makes your teeth stand out more, which people interpret as smiling. We all assume smiling people are happy, and let’s face it, we all would rather be with happy people than with grumps. Add to that the fact that as your appearance improves, so does your self-confidence. So the proof is in. Cosmetic dentistry can change lives, one smile at a time, and it does it by making people look more attractive, more successful, more intelligent, more sensitive, more interesting, and yes, more sexual, as well as kinder, wealthier, and friendlier. No wonder the cosmetic dentistry market is booming.

Starting Over – Dan’s Story

Dan had been married to his high school sweetheart for over fifteen years when she died suddenly in her thirties from cancer. He was devastated. He had never had much dental care. His teeth were incredibly overlapped and decayed, and a few looked like long pointy fangs. He was embarrassed by how his teeth looked and lacked hope in ever meeting someone new that he could care for again. His sadness affected his work as well. When he came to see us, it was difficult for him even to discuss what was bothering him about his unattractive smile.

We guided him through orthodontics, a few implants, some porcelain veneers in the front, and some tooth colored crowns in the back. Dan blossomed. His career blossomed. His self-confidence grew. His success at work spread, as did his social life. He now lives with a spectacular woman and radiates happiness. He feels he has been able to start his life anew. Once again we see cosmetic dentistry changing the world, one smile at a time.

Dan – After Ortho but Before Veneers

Dan – After Both Ortho & Veneers

Let’s Just Call Her Peggy

You are never too old for cosmetic dentistry. In fact, you are never too old to look your best in any aspect of your life. A woman in her sixties, (let’s call her Peggy), came to see me, complaining that her denture didn’t fit. She looked old, and her life was kind of dreary. We talked about making a new upper denture, but what color should we make it? Cosmetically the ideal is to make the upper and lower teeth the same shade so they go together and match like they do in nature, but her lower teeth were quite dark. So we decided to first lighten her lower teeth. One option we discussed was bleaching, but since her lower teeth were chipped, had some old discolored fillings, and were a little overlapped, we decided instead to upgrade them by constructing lower porcelain veneers – but in a color that would be a few shades lighter than her current teeth. Once we were done with the veneers, we could make the new upper denture, but now in a lighter and brighter color to match the lower veneers.

If only you could have seen her on the day we delivered her new cosmetic denture. She looked in the mirror, and suddenly her whole face lit up. Her lips were fuller again and not drooping. Her teeth were brighter and she was smiling, perhaps “gleaming” is a better word. She added a little lipstick for contrast. She said she looked and felt years younger, and perhaps this quote from a testimonial she wrote for us says it best:

Dr. Zase, you have changed my life. I never have had more self-confidence or been happier. Being in an unhappy marriage and having low self-esteem, I was just existing. After your skillful cosmetic work, I gained confidence, got divorced, and am now very happily married to the man of my dreams.

Who says you can’t find love at the dental office? Just don’t expect it to be with the dentist.

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© 2010, 2011 by Lois W. Stern

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Lois W. Stern is the published author of two books: Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery and Tick Tock, Stop the Clock ~ Getting Pretty on Your Lunch Hour as well as numerous magazine articles. Her Professional Edition DVD is a popular aid to office staff while interacting with their patients.

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