289 The Periodontal Practice Profile of General Dentists in Nova Scotia

Thursday, March 22, 2012: 2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Presentation Type: Poster Session
E. GHIABI, Faculty of Dentistry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada, and D. MATTHEWS, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
Objectives: In this cross-sectional study, we investigated the extent to which general dentists in Nova Scotia, Canada provide periodontal and surgical implant therapies. Factors that significantly influence the dentist’s decision to provide treatment or refer to the specialist are reported. 

 Methods: A survey questionnaire was mailed to all 443 general dentists practicing in the province of Nova Scotia in the summer of 2009. The dentists were presented with a number of clinical scenarios and were asked whether they would treat each scenario in office, or refer to the specialist. Logistic regression analyses were performed to analyze the data.

Results: Of the 279 (63%) responses received, 272 (61% of total) were eligible to be included in the analysis. The majority of the dentists reported rendering non-surgical periodontal therapy, including scaling (98.5%), periodontal maintenance (95.9%) and treatment for bruxism (95.1%). The most common surgical procedures performed by the dentists were frenectomy (29.4%), gingivectomy (29.3%) and crown-lengthening procedures (17%). Eleven factors were identified that significantly influenced the dentist’s decision to treat in his/her office or to refer out. The most common criteria used by the dentists in selecting a periodontist were previous patient satisfaction, previous success (with treatment), personality of and good communications with the periodontist.

Conclusions: Dentists in our study reported rendering non-surgical periodontal therapy on a wide scale, whereas their involvement in oral/periodontal and implant surgical therapies was limited.

Keywords: Periodontics, Practice Profile and Providers