All of us in the cosmetic dental profession believe that a beautiful smile makes you more attractive and can help you succeed in your career. In fact, we do more than simply believe in it. We’ve staked our careers on it.

AACD Study on Cosmetic Dentistry

An independent consumer study conducted on behalf of the AACD in 2004 four that:

  • Virtually all Americans (99.7%) believe a smile is an important social asset.
  • 96% of adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing to members of the opposite sex.
  • Three-quarters (74%) of adults feel an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chances for career success.

Couple with cosmetic dentistryBut who knew that a new smile also makes you appear more intelligent, happy, wealthy, successful, interest, sensitive and kind? Well, AACD Executive Director Bob Hall thought so. He recommended to leadership that they complete a study to find out just how much effect a smile really has. According to an AACD’s consumer poll, it appears that an attractive smile may have even further reaching benefits than earlier believed.

AACD worked with Dr. Anne Beall, a market research professional social psychologist and, to conduct an independent consumer study on behalf of the AACD. Dr Beall showed before and after pictures of eight individuals to 528 adults who represented a valid cross section of the U.S. population. The respondents in the study were asked to quickly judge the photos of the individuals in the areas of attractiveness, intelligence, happiness, career success, friendliness, interestingness, kindness, wealth, popularity with the opposite sex, and sensitivity to other people.

Two sets of photos were created, with each set showing four individuals before undergoing cosmetic dentistry, and four after receiving treatment. Half of the respondents viewed set A; the other half, set B. The eight subjects viewed by respondents were evenly divided by gender. Two had mild improvements, and four had major improvements to their smiles, to give a wide range for respondents to view. None, however, had visibly rotten teeth, missing teeth or were not told that they were looking at cosmetic dentistry, but were asked to make snap judgements rating each person for the ten characteristics, on a scale of one to ten, with “one” being “not at all,” and “ten” being extremely.

While the change was most dramatic for the Attractive, Popular with the opposite sex, Wealthy and Successful in their career categories, it is important to note that the change was statistically greater in all areas.

As a cosmetic dentist, this data could prove to be a valuable new marketing tool for your practice. Next time you have a patient in your chair who is on the fence as to whether or not to undergo a smile makeover, let them know that not only will they experience a much broader array of benefits as well.

woman smile makeover

Smile Study by UC Berkeley

According to an article published by Forbes, UC Berkeley had conducted a 30-year longitudinal study, which examined students’ smiles in an old yearbook. The intent was to measure their well-being and success throughout the students’ lives. Researchers were able to study the photographs and predict how the students would score on standardized well-being tests, how successful they would be in marriage, and how well they would be able to inspire others. The findings showed that those students who smiled widest, consistently ranked highest in the above categories.

It’s in the Cards

One last interesting and intriguing study, done by Wayne State University in 2010, was conducted on Major League Baseball player. Or more accurately the players baseball card. The cards of baseball players in 1952 were studied and compared and it was found that the lifespan of the players was relative to the span of their smiles. Players who had little to no smile lived an average of 72.9 years, while players with broad or beaming smiles lived 79.9 years. What’s even more interesting is that this was done on players from 1952, before cosmetic dentistry was as prevalent as it is nowadays.

Takes it for what it’s worth, coincidence or causation. Either way it’s gotta make you smile.