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Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1985 Oct;13(5):249-52.

Dental health services research in Scotland: a review of some 5-year results.


A longitudinal study of dental treatment carried out by the Dental Health Services Research Unit in Dundee has provided a unique opportunity to investigate a variety of aspects of dental care received by a sample of dentate individuals over 5 yr. The distribution of treatment indicated that frequent attenders, especially those who changed dentist, were particularly prone to having teeth filled and that two-thirds of the restorative cost was spent on restoring tooth surfaces that had previously been filled. A quarter of the sample had severe periodontal disease and they tended to visit a dentist less frequently than those with mild periodontal disease. They were also more likely to have teeth extracted but less likely to have a scaling or other periodontal treatment than the moderately diseased. The findings suggest that there is considerable scope for a less treatment-orientated approach to the management of dental caries for those who currently receive most of the restorative treatment. The majority of the population who receive little dental care, especially those with severe periodontal disease, would probably gain by visiting a dentist more frequently. Dentists need to acquire a more positive attitude towards prevention and an increased ability to make intellectually based decisions not to treat.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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