Perception of profile among laypeople, dental students and orthodontic patients.

Research paper by Eser E Tufekci, Arousha A Jahangiri, Steven J SJ Lindauer

Indexed on: 25 Oct '08Published on: 25 Oct '08Published in: The Angle orthodontist


To determine whether there are differences in self-awareness and perception of an individual's own profile among various groups.Laypeople, orthodontic patients, and first (D1) and third-year dental (D3) students were surveyed (n = 75 each). The participants answered a questionnaire regarding how they felt about their own profile and teeth. They also chose from among various silhouettes the one that most resembled their own profile. Profile photos of participants were analyzed by two orthodontists who matched the individual to the depicted silhouettes. Agreement between participants and experts was evaluated using the Kappa statistic. Differences among groups in identifying their own profiles and differences among profile types in satisfaction with their appearance were compared using chi2.Overall agreement between the individuals' perceptions of their own profiles and evaluation by orthodontists was 53% (kappa = .15). The four groups were different in their ability to recognize their own profile (P < .05). D3s were most accurate (64%, kappa = .28), followed by D1s (57%, kappa = .10), orthodontic patients (48%, kappa = .19), and laypeople (43%, kappa = .04). Individuals who considered themselves as having a Class II or III profile were less satisfied with the appearance of their profiles (P < .05). Those who considered themselves as having a Class III profile were also less happy with the appearance of their teeth (P < .05).This study suggests that about half the population cannot characterize their own profile. However, subjects who perceived their own profiles as being different from average were more likely to be unhappy with their facial appearance.