Orthodontic treatment provided by general dentists who have achieved master's level in the Academy of General Dentistry

Robert N Galbreath, Kelly K Hilgers, Anibal M Silveira, James P Scheetz
American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics 2006, 129 (5): 678-86

INTRODUCTION: The purposes of this study were to document orthodontic treatment currently provided by general dentists for comparison with past and future studies and to ascertain variables that influence practitioners' orthodontic treatment patterns.

METHODS: A 21-item survey was mailed to 750 master's level members of the Academy of General Dentistry. Surveys returned within 8 weeks were included for statistical analysis.

RESULTS: The response rate was 62%. Most practitioners spent less than 10% of their practice time providing orthodontic treatment and reported that this would not change in the future. Many provided orthodontic treatment in the permanent dentition, and the most common conditions or malocclusions treated were space maintenance, anterior crossbite, rotation, habits, molar uprighting, and posterior crossbite. The most common orthodontic appliances used were removable Hawley appliances with finger springs, straight wire orthodontic therapy, rapid palatal expanders, and functional appliances.

CONCLUSIONS: The number of general dentists providing comprehensive orthodontic treatment has not changed since previous surveys; practitioners also do not expect a change in the next 5 years. Factors that influenced the orthodontic treatment provided included the primary source of orthodontic training, the number of orthodontic continuing education hours earned per year, the practitioner's location, and the proximity to the nearest orthodontist.

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