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ORIGINAL RESEARCH Table of Contents   
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 443-446
An investigation of social judgments made by young adults toward appearance of dental fluorosis

Department of Public Health Dentistry, V. S. Dental College and Hospital, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
S R Nagashree
Department of Public Health Dentistry, V. S. Dental College and Hospital, Bangalore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.104946

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Background : Smile is a crucial factor in creating a good first impression. However conditions like dental fluorosis hamper the esthetics of teeth. This study was conducted to find out whether young adults attribute socially relevant characteristics to people with dental fluorosis. Materials and Methods : A total of 150 young adults were presented with images of individuals with different severity levels of dental fluorosis along with images of normal tooth appearance on a computer screen. They had to attribute various socially relevant characteristics to these images. Images were digitally manipulated to simulate dental fluorosis. Images were displayed on a computer screen and Visual Basic Software was used to record the participants' responses as well as the time taken to respond. The time taken to respond or response latency indicates the response strength. Statistical analysis : A chi-square test was used to test the association between the dental appearances and the socially relevant characteristics. A Mann--Whitney test was used to compare the time taken to respond. Results : As the severity of fluorosis increases, participants attribute less and less of positive characteristics. Attribution of negative characteristics also increases with the severity of dental fluorosis. For images with moderate and severe fluorosis, respondents took more time to accept positive characteristics and less time to reject positive characteristic. This means that the participants felt strongly when rejecting positive characteristics in these images. Conclusion : Social judgments are made by young adults when viewing digitally manipulated images of different levels of fluorosis.

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