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Volume 8 , Issue 2
Spring 1994

Pages 216-222

Knowledge and beliefs of dentists regarding temporomandibular disorders and chronic pain


PMID: 7920357

To assess the knowledge and beliefs of practicing dentists regarding temporomandibular disorders and chronic pain, a random sample of dentists in the Kansas City metropolitan area was surveyed. A survey instrument examining knowledge and beliefs in four domains (psychophysiological, psychiatric disorders, chronic pain, and pathophysiology) was used. The responses of the practicing dentists were compared to the responses of panels of experts. Results indicated that dentists generally agreed with experts in the psychophysiological and psychiatric disorders domains but disagreed with the experts in the chronic pain and pathophysiology domains. Specialists and general dentists did not differ from one another in their responses. The findings partially replicate an earlier, similar survey of dentists in the Seattle, Washington, area. The findings suggest that the role of psychiatric disorders and psychophysiologic factors in the etiology of temporomandibular disorders is widely acknowledged by practicing dentists. However, there is considerable discrepancy between practicing dentists and temporomandibular disorder experts on the pathophysiology of temporomandibular disorders and how best to diagnose and treat these chronic conditions.

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