The Perception of General Dental Practitioners and Pediatric Dentists about Orthodontic Knowledge and Proper Referral Patterns for Orthodontic Patients
Introduction: Referral to orthodontic clinics mostly comes from general dental practitioners and pediatric dentists. However, inappropriate referrals, in terms of missed early diagnosis of malocclusions or patients not ready for treatment lead to unbalanced orthodontic treatment care, where orthodontists are obliged to give long waiting lists.
Objective of the study: The objective of this study was to: assess the orthodontic diagnostic skills perceived by general dental practitioners and pediatric dentists when referring patients for orthodontic dental care.
Design of the study: A cross-sectional study.
Sample setting & Inclusion Criteria: The study population consisted of all general dental practitioners and pediatric dentists in ministry of Health in Jordan and the study sample consisted of (171) physicians, a questionnaire was distributed to them online.
Results: The respondents were 81.3% of them for (GDPs) and 18.7% for (PDs). The respondents’ genders was 76% Females and 24% Males. The respondents’ Ages was varied from about 38% for (35 – Less than 45), followed by 32.2% for (Less than 35) and 2.9% for 55 and more. The respondents’ perceptions were very close in terms of improving self-esteem, physical attractiveness and reducing teasing, (the P-values respectively=0.151, 0.286, 0.712). Also in terms of reducing caries and periodontal disease (the P-values respectively=0.991, 0.412). However, there was a difference in reference to TMD, and brushing teeth easier (P-value=0.058, 0.044). As for scoring the treatment needed for several malocclusions, there was generally an agreement between general dental practitioners and pediatric dentists. However, there was a high statistical difference for class I, II division1 & 2 (P-value=0.001, 0.046, 0.041), and in terms of spacing (P-value=0.019), where pediatric dentists showed a higher perceived treatment need than general practitioners in referring these type of malocclusions earlier.
Referrals, Treatment need, Pediatric dentists, General dental practitioners Referrals, Treatment need, Pediatric dentists, General dental practitioners.