Understanding that attractive people often are assigned desirable characteristics including greater ability, responsibility and social acuity, researchers publishing in the October 2014 issue of the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics asked, “Would dental esthetics have an influence on finding a job?”
Finding no evidence in the literature focusing on the question, they designed a study to assess whether dental esthetics would have an influence on the perceptions of human resources personnel.
To investigate, they selected 10 patients who needed orthodontic treatment and photographed them before treatment. Images of the subjects were manipulated to create ideal smiles. Two different questionnaires containing the photos of all 10 subjects were prepared — one with the photographs unaltered and the other with images showing subjects with orthodontic correction. Two subjects’ images were used as controls, one appearing as uncorrected and the other as corrected in each of the two questionnaires to evaluate the reliability of evaluators’ responses.
Each of 100 adults who were responsible for hiring and had a degree in business administration received one of the two questionnaires for evaluation. The images were accompanied by the following four questions: • Would you hire this person? • Does this person appear to be honest? • Does this person appear to be intelligent? • Does this person appear to accomplish his or her tasks on time? Evaluators assigned more intelligence and greater likelihood of being hired to the photographs of people with ideal dental esthetics than the same subjects with non-ideal dental esthetics. Significant differences in evaluators’ perceptions of honesty and efficiency were not found.