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Profiling providers of orthodontic services in general dental practice.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
0889-5406
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
99
Issue
3
Pages
269–275
Identifiers
PMID: 1998302
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

This study was designed to ascertain whether general practitioners who provide some orthodontic treatment to a relatively large proportion of their patients tend to limit themselves to the treatment of simple cases while they continue to refer more difficult cases or whether a high volume of orthodontic treatment is linked to an expanded scope of treatment and fewer referrals. Data pertaining to volume, scope, and other correlates of orthodontic services in general practice were obtained through a survey of dentists currently in general practice in Iowa. Of 1159 questionnaires mailed out, 728 (62.8%) were returned. To determine how the values of recorded variables differ among the providers of high and low volumes of orthodontic services and to determine whether these differences are significant, chi 2 tests of independence were calculated. The results obtained were used to generate descriptive measures of the profiles of providers of a high volume of orthodontic services in general practice. These profiles indicated that providers of a high volume of orthodontic treatment (1) performed the same amount of limited orthodontic treatment as providers of a low volume of orthodontic treatment; (2) performed significantly more major orthodontic treatment; (3) used significantly more fixed appliances, functional appliances, and headgears, but not removable appliances; (4) took significantly more hours of continuing education in orthodontics; and (5) referred significantly fewer patients to orthodontic specialists. In view of the projected increase in the amount of orthodontics performed in general practice, these findings suggest that, in the future, relatively more major orthodontic treatment is likely to be provided by general practitioners.

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