Impact of dentists' years since graduation on management of temporomandibular disorders
- Center for Health Care Research (CHCR)
OBJECTIVES: The aims were to assess the impact of the number of years since dentists' graduation on appraisement of diagnostic needs and utilization of treatment options for temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and to investigate whether increased knowledge in TMD is sufficiently considered in today's dentist's undergraduate curricula and, therefore, represented in more evidence-based TMD management in dentists with less years since graduation.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A questionnaire regarding knowledge and management of TMD was developed and was subsequently applied in a random sample of 400 dentists in a region in Northern Germany.
RESULTS: Of the 222 dentists (response rate 55.6 %), participating in the study, the frequency of TMD treatment need in the general population was estimated at 21.5 %, with lower values in dentists with more years passed since graduation. Measures regarding utilization of standardized examination forms, perceptions of insufficient specialization, and referrals of patients to TMD specialists indicated a lower quality and certainty in TMD management in participants with less time since graduation. While the provision of splints was a well-established treatment option in initial TMD management of all participants, additional TMD treatment options were mentioned less often, with lower proportions of participants making use of these options within the first decade since graduation.
CONCLUSIONS: Evidence-based TMD management is not fully represented in dental practitioners in Germany. This might be due to an insufficient consideration of TMD management in the dentist's undergraduate curricula.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Effective interventions to increase dentists' knowledge and to change dentists' practices in TMD management are required.
- Forschungsinformationssystem des UKE