Survey reveals impact of healthy teeth on well-being

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Survey reveals impact of healthy teeth on well-being

A health care organization has investigated oral health and its impact on confidence, employment and social connections and whether dental coverage has a direct impact on mental well-being. (Image: pixelheadphoto digitalskillet/Shutterstock)

Tue. 7. January 2020


BLOOMFIELD, Conn., U.S: Cigna, a worldwide health services organization, has recently released a study that helps confirm the connection between oral health and confidence. Not surprisingly, it showed that people who reported having “excellent” oral health had higher self-confidence than those who reported “fair to poor oral health.” Researchers also noted that the insecurities about smiles and oral health have had a direct impact on employment opportunities for many of the people included in the study.

The survey was designed to ensure that the composition of respondents approximated the population of U.S. adults with regard to gender, age and census region, and 1,000 U.S. residents, aged 18 years and over, took part. In the questionnaire, participants were asked to respond to questions about matters such as their self-confidence rating, the impact of smile and oral health on employment, the convenience and stress of going to the dentist, and their perceptions of others’ smiles and oral health.

According to the results of the study, of those who were completely satisfied with their smile, 93% rated their self-confidence as excellent or very good. However, 15% reported being “not at all or not very satisfied,” and 16% said their smile impairs their self-confidence. In the study, researchers also noted that adults who have routine dental care two or more times per year reported significantly higher rates of self-confidence than people who go less than once a year or not at all.

As oral health affects many aspects of life, the impact on employment was also investigated. More than 21% of people surveyed reported feeling less confident about job interviews because of their smile or the state of their oral health, and 12% believed their smile or oral health condition held them back from getting a job or getting a promotion.

According to Cigna, the study was conducted among consumers not only to better understand oral health’s impact on self-esteem, confidence, employability and stress but also to examine its impact on the ability to make and maintain meaningful social connections. The overall goal of the study was to generate insights on whether or not having dental coverage has a direct impact on mental well-being.

Speaking to Dental Tribune International, Cigna’s Chief Dental Officer Dr. Cary Sun said, “Cigna Dental Health Connect is the embodiment of our clinical approach to improving whole person health through innovative dental solutions. We are committed to expanding on this clinical model which today includes chronic condition support, preventive dental care reminders for high-risk customers, on-site dental care, and safe opioid prescribing.”

The study, titled “BEHIND THE SMILE – Oral Health Impact Self-Esteem, Confidence and Employability,” was published by Cigna on Nov. 11, 2019.

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