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Volume 13 , Issue 1
January/February 2000

Pages 34-40

Prosthodontic Decision Making Among General Dentists in Sweden. III: The Choice Between Fixed Partial Dentures and Single Implants

Mats Kronström, LDS/Sigvard Palmqvist, LDS, Odont Dr/Björn Söderfeldt, PhD, DrMedSc

PMID: 11203606

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe how dentists evaluated the importance of various items related to a treatment choice between fixed partial dentures (FPD) and single implants, and to analyze if the differences could be explained by dentist-related variables such as social and demographic attributes, job situation, and attitudes. Materials and Methods: Questionnaires were sent to a random sample of 2,059 Swedish general dentists, with a response rate of 76%. In the questionnaire, the choice between an FPD and a single-implant restoration in a clinical situation was presented. Fifteen items were constructed and the dentists were asked to mark on visual analogue scales the relative importance he or she gave the different items. The items were analyzed through principal components analysis, where a three-factor solution was obtained; the factors were labeled as ’time,’ ’health,’ and ’comfort.’ The factors were run as dependent variables in multiple regression analyses. Results: The items evaluated as most important were ’prognosis for delivered treatment’ and ’patient’s wish.’ Large individual differences were seen, but the differences between groups of dentists were small. Male dentists considered the ’health’ and the ’comfort’ factors to be more important compared to female dentists. The attitudinal variable ’patient information’ was significantly associated with the ’time’ factor and, inversely, with the ’comfort’ factor. Conclusion: Differences between individuals were great, but between groups of dentists the differences were only minor. Multivariately, the attitudinal variable ’patient information’ showed significant associations with the ’time’ and the ’comfort’ factors. Dentist-related variables explained little of the variations. The results further indicated a low personal knowledge concerning implant treatments. Psychologic methods might explain more of the individual differences in prosthodontic decision making, but these are not easily used in a questionnaire study.

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