Smile Expectations in the Dental Industry
According to a survey from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 99.7% of adults believe a smile is a key social asset, while 74% feel an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s career success. If these results reflect consumer opinion, how do these statistics differ for dental professionals? For dentists interviewing office managers, is a dingy smile a deal-breaker?
Of course, when hiring a hygienist, it’s important to find one with an impressive set of teeth. Patients may run in the other direction if the person cleaning their teeth has a not-so-sexy smile, but for other employees in the office, what weight does their smile hold?
The same question can be asked for dental professionals working outside the dental office: manufacturers, marketing professionals, journalists, etc. Day in and day out, you’re plugged into what makes a healthy and beautiful smile. You’re inundated with details about the latest and greatest procedures, including veneers, implants, whitening gels, and other processes that offer cosmetic value. Does this knowledge create certain expectations for your employees?
I would imagine it’s difficult not to be judgmental, but at the same time, being so close to the dental industry leaves us with a greater understanding of the costs associated with cosmetic procedures. Everyone wants a perfect smile, but not everyone can afford it, especially within the current financial climate.
Considering the results of the AACD survey, does working in the dental industry dramatically increase the pressure to have an attractive smile? Are you that much more inclined to shell out the dough for costly cosmetic procedures if it means impressing your peers?
I am a Registered Dental hygienist who just graduated in the spring. I have had serious health problems in the past that severely affected the state and apprearance of my teeth. Although I am healthy now, I still have an unattractive smile, one that looks unhealthy. I am in need of a full mouth rehabilitation but cannot afford it. I have always wanted to be a hygienist but I felt too embarrassed of my smile and lacked the confidence to pursue my dream. One day I decided to quit my job and let go of my teeth insecurites in order to pursue my ambition to become a hygienist. I obtained my lisence to practice in July. Unfortunetly is has been 6 months that I have been looking for a job and I still have not secured any type of employment. I am getting interviews and even though I am a very skilled, qualified and talented individual, I am not getting any job offers. I suspect my less than perfect smile has something to do with this. All my other collegues have all secured employement by now. In one instance both my friend and I applied for the same job. She got hired although she is only fluent in French and can barely manage to speak English. I , on the other hand can speak 4 lanquages fluently.. I did not understand this hiring decision.
Working in the dental industry definitly increases the pressure to have an attractive smile. An attractive smile means a healthy indivudual and a healthy individual is a perfect role model for clients to follow. A dental office also has a certain image to maintain. Just as a Hair Salon would not hire a hairdresser with damaged unhealthy looking hair, or a Clothing boutique would not hire a clerk who is not clean and neet of appearance, A dental office would not hire an individual with an unhealthy and unattractive smile, regardless of the circumstances. And that is unfortunate for me!
even with dental hygiene jobs so scarce….no thank you! then they wonder why they need to come back
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