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Volume 17 , Issue 6
November/December 2004

Pages 666 - 671

The Dentist’s Communicative Role in Prosthodontic Treatment

Katarina Sondell, LDS, Odont Dr/PhD/Sigvard Palmqvist, LDS, Odont Dr/PhD/Björn Söderfeldt, PhD, Dr Med Sc

PMID: 15686094

Purpose: Dentist-patient verbal communication is important for patient satisfaction. The aim of this study was to investigate the dentist’s role in the provider-patient relationship as to verbal communication and patient satisfaction with the treatment outcome in prosthetic dentistry. The dentist-specific properties were analyzed in random coefficient modeling. Materials and Methods: Sixty-one dentist-patient pairs were followed through 61 prosthodontic treatment periods. The treatment performed was fixed prosthodontic restorations on teeth or implants. One encounter at the end of each treatment period was tape recorded. The verbal communication on the recordings was analyzed using an interaction analysis instrument. Various measures of communication were used, summarizing the variational pattern of verbal interaction. Two different aspects of the patient satisfaction concept were used as dependent variables: cure (overall patient satisfaction with prosthodontic treatment), and care (patient satisfaction with a particular dental encounter during the prosthodontic treatment period). Results: In the multilevel model for care, the dentist variance was mostly explained by the communication variables. In the cure model, there was no dentist variance. The communication patterns used by the dentists thus influenced patient satisfaction in a short-term perspective but not in an intermediate perspective. Conclusion: Patient evaluation of the care during an encounter is dependent on the dentist’s verbal communication activity during the encounter, but this communication has no impact on the patient evaluation of overall prosthetic treatment outcome in the intermediate time perspective.

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