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Volume 25 , Issue 3
May/June 2012

Pages 270-278

Grounded Theory on Factors Involved in the Decision-Making Processes of Patients Treated with Implant Therapy

Birger Narby/Ulrika Hallberg/Ingrid Collin Bagewitz/Björn Söderfeldt

PMID: 22545258

Purpose: The aims of this research were to describe the process leading to desire for implant treatment, describe how patients missing teeth gained information about implant treatment, identify gatekeeping factors for implant treatment, and note experiences in changes in oral health–related quality of life. Materials and Methods: The constant comparative method for a grounded theory was used in collecting and analyzing data. Ten informants participated in the study, all of whom were treated with implant-supported fixed dentures during the past year. Results: The emerging core category was that participants experienced a journey from social stigma to exhilaration. This process ended in the perspective that the participants’ new lives with dental implants were very good and meant an end to their social stigma, but gatekeeping factors before treatment, such as cost and dental anxiety, were noted. The dentist’s opinion and suggestions were the most decisive part of the decision-making process, and trust in the dentist and dental team was crucial in the decision to undergo treatment and in the overall treatment experience. Great improvement in oral health–related quality of life was noted. Conclusion: This qualitative study gives as the core category and main finding the importance of patients’ trust and confidence in the dentist and his/her staff in the process of transforming desire for dental implant treatment into demand and also in making it more likely for patients to be satisfied with treatment regardless of complications. Int J Prosthodont 2012;25:270–278.

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