Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Oral Health and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Factors influencing patient satisfaction with dental appearance and treatments they desire to improve aesthetics

Mon Mon Tin-Oo*, Norkhafizah Saddki and Nurhidayati Hassan

Author Affiliations

School of Dental Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Oral Health 2011, 11:6  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-11-6

Published: 23 February 2011



We assessed factors influencing patients' satisfaction with their dental appearance and the treatments they desired to improve dental aesthetics.


A cross-sectional study was performed out among 235 adult patients who visited the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia dental clinic. A structured, interviewer-guided questionnaire was used to identify patient satisfaction with their general dental appearance, cosmetic elements and desired treatments.


The 235 patients consisted of 70 males (29.8%) and 165 females (70.2%), of mean age 31.5 years (SD 13.0). Of these patients, 124 (52.8%) were not satisfied with their general dental appearance. In addition, 132 patients (56.2%) were not happy with the color of their teeth, 76 (32.3%), regarded their teeth were poorly aligned, 62 (26.4%), as crowded and 56 (23.4%) protruded. Dissatisfaction with tooth color was significantly higher in female than in male patients (odds ratio [OR] of 1.99 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.13-3.50). Tooth whitening was the treatment most desired by patients (48.1%). Results of multiple logistic regression analysis showed that patient dissatisfaction with general dental appearance was significantly associated with female gender (OR = 2.18; 95% CI: 1.18-4.03), unhappiness with tooth color (OR = 3.05; 95% CI: 1.74-5.34) and the opinion that their teeth protruded (OR = 2.91, 95% CI: 1.44-5.91).


Most patients in this study were not satisfied with their dental appearance with a greater percentage of females expressing dissatisfaction than males. An age was not associated with satisfaction. Unhappiness with tooth color and feelings of having protruding teeth also had a significant negative influence on patient satisfaction with general dental appearance.