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Periodontal referral patterns of general dentists: lessons for dental education.
J Dent Educ. 2009 Feb; 73(2):199-210.JD

Abstract

The objectives of this study were to investigate periodontal treatment and referral patterns and the considerations used in the process of dentists who make no periodontal referrals, relatively few referrals, or more referrals. Specifically, the role of disease characteristics, patient- and provider-related factors, attitudes towards periodontal referrals, and perceptions of dental education were explored. The relationships between the perceived quality of dental education concerning periodontal diagnosis and treatment and the considerations used in this process were evaluated as well. Data were collected from 160 members of the Michigan Dental Association using a mailed questionnaire. The respondents were predominantly male (77 percent) and white (96 percent) and had practiced for an average of twenty-three years (SD=10.7). While 13 percent of the respondents had not made any periodontal referrals during the past month, 69 percent had referred between one and five patients, and 18 percent more than five patients. Dentists who referred more than three patients per month considered the patients' oral hygiene as more important, had fewer patients from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and more patients with private insurance, and felt less well prepared by their dental education compared to general dentists who referred fewer than three patients per month to a periodontist. The more positively dentists evaluated their dental education in periodontics, the more conservative they were when considering percentage of bone loss as a basis for referral (r=.228; p=.014), the more frequently they used systemic antibiotics in their treatment of periodontal disease (r=.180; p=.036), and the more they considered whether their patients would return after the periodontal treatment (r=.185; p=.028) as a factor in their referral decisions. General dentists' perceptions of the quality of their dental school education in periodontics decreased their willingness to refer patients and increased their desire to treat these patients in their own practices. Future research should analyze the ways in which dental school curricula could prepare students to make timely and necessary periodontal referrals.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1078, USA.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19234076

Citation

Lee, Jung Ho, et al. "Periodontal Referral Patterns of General Dentists: Lessons for Dental Education." Journal of Dental Education, vol. 73, no. 2, 2009, pp. 199-210.
Lee JH, Bennett DE, Richards PS, et al. Periodontal referral patterns of general dentists: lessons for dental education. J Dent Educ. 2009;73(2):199-210.
Lee, J. H., Bennett, D. E., Richards, P. S., & Inglehart, M. R. (2009). Periodontal referral patterns of general dentists: lessons for dental education. Journal of Dental Education, 73(2), 199-210.
Lee JH, et al. Periodontal Referral Patterns of General Dentists: Lessons for Dental Education. J Dent Educ. 2009;73(2):199-210. PubMed PMID: 19234076.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Periodontal referral patterns of general dentists: lessons for dental education. AU - Lee,Jung Ho, AU - Bennett,Duane E, AU - Richards,Philip S, AU - Inglehart,Marita Rohr, PY - 2009/2/24/entrez PY - 2009/2/24/pubmed PY - 2009/4/2/medline SP - 199 EP - 210 JF - Journal of dental education JO - J Dent Educ VL - 73 IS - 2 N2 - The objectives of this study were to investigate periodontal treatment and referral patterns and the considerations used in the process of dentists who make no periodontal referrals, relatively few referrals, or more referrals. Specifically, the role of disease characteristics, patient- and provider-related factors, attitudes towards periodontal referrals, and perceptions of dental education were explored. The relationships between the perceived quality of dental education concerning periodontal diagnosis and treatment and the considerations used in this process were evaluated as well. Data were collected from 160 members of the Michigan Dental Association using a mailed questionnaire. The respondents were predominantly male (77 percent) and white (96 percent) and had practiced for an average of twenty-three years (SD=10.7). While 13 percent of the respondents had not made any periodontal referrals during the past month, 69 percent had referred between one and five patients, and 18 percent more than five patients. Dentists who referred more than three patients per month considered the patients' oral hygiene as more important, had fewer patients from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and more patients with private insurance, and felt less well prepared by their dental education compared to general dentists who referred fewer than three patients per month to a periodontist. The more positively dentists evaluated their dental education in periodontics, the more conservative they were when considering percentage of bone loss as a basis for referral (r=.228; p=.014), the more frequently they used systemic antibiotics in their treatment of periodontal disease (r=.180; p=.036), and the more they considered whether their patients would return after the periodontal treatment (r=.185; p=.028) as a factor in their referral decisions. General dentists' perceptions of the quality of their dental school education in periodontics decreased their willingness to refer patients and increased their desire to treat these patients in their own practices. Future research should analyze the ways in which dental school curricula could prepare students to make timely and necessary periodontal referrals. SN - 0022-0337 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19234076/Periodontal_referral_patterns_of_general_dentists:_lessons_for_dental_education_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -