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Eur J Oral Sci. 2006 Oct;114(5):396-402.

Predictors of recall assignment decisions by general dental practitioners performing routine oral examinations.

Author information

1
Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dentistry, College of Oral Sciences, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. d.mettes@dent.umcn.nl

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the decision-making behavior of general dental practitioners (GDPs) in performing routine oral examinations (ROEs). Change over time was studied by comparing data from a cohort sample of participants in two surveys in 2000 and 2005. A written questionnaire was sent to 809 dentists (509 responses were obtained) and 475 (61%) were used for analysis. Of the respondents, 347 also participated in the survey in 2000. The mean number of diagnostic ROE items per ROE was 6.9 (standard deviation = 1.7). Groups of GDPs were distinguished based on their answer to the question 'Do you apply for all patients a fixed recall interval between two successive ROEs?' and four personal profiles. Of the GDPs, 38.5% (n = 183) assigned fixed recall intervals (Fxs) for all patients. Individual recall intervals (Ivs) were applied by 61.5% (n = 292) of GDPs, depending on specific selected patient characteristics and risk factors. Logistic regression showed that GDPs applying Fxs also used fixed periods between successive bitewing radiographs. Furthermore, GDPs applying Ivs conducted more frequent periodontal screening and, in the event of periodontal problems, were more inclined to prescribe radiographs. Over a 5 yr period, a shift towards Ivs assignment (from 49% in 2000 to 61.5% in 2005) was found. Differences in assigned recall intervals (Fxs/Ivs) by GDPs are determined by three clinical ROE predictors and two GDP profiles. A shift towards a more individual assessment was found between 2000 and 2005 in the way that Dutch GDPs are dealing with the assignment of recall interval frequency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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