The Extent and Scope of Prosthodontic Practice in Iowa.

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The purpose of this questionnaire was to ask general dentists in private practice in the state of Iowa about the extent and scope of their prosthodontic practice.


A 22-item questionnaire was developed and tested on 5 general dentists. The Iowa Dental Association agreed to electronically distribute the survey to all general practice dentists in their database. After three rounds, a total of 289 responses were received from the 996 general dentists in the database.


The average age of the respondents was 50.3 ± 13.2 years (range 28 to 78 years), and 56.3% were in solo practice. The respondents stated that 68.1% had made at least one set of complete dentures and 88.9% had made a removable partial denture (RPD) in the last 3 months, while 76.4% had restored a least one implant in the last 3 months and 11.6% had surgically placed one. Nearly 20% of the respondents had a digital impression scanner in their office. There was a statistically significant difference between the dentists who had made complete dentures in the past 3 months and those who had not with regard to age, gender, and years in practice (p < 0.05 for all instances). No significant difference was found between the general dentists who had made an RPD in the past 3 months and those who had not. Compared to their counterparts, general dentists who had an AEGD or GPR training (p = 0.0312), whose primary practices were in cities of 50,000+ (p = 0.0065), or had a digital scanner (p = 0.0062) and a CAD/CAM milling machine (p = 0.0504) in their office were more likely to have restored an implant in the last 3 months. Furthermore, the general dentists who had surgically placed an implant in the last 3 months were more likely to be male (p = 0.0301) or have a digital impression scanner (p < 0.0001) and/or a CAD/CAM milling machine (p = 0.0007) in their office.


The majority of general dentists in this survey are still making complete and partial removable dentures, and a majority is using implants, while only a minority is surgically placing them. PRACTICAL  IMPLICATIONS: Although Iowa general dentists are carrying out sophisticated procedures such as implant placement and restoring implants, as well as using digital technology, there is still a need for removable prosthodontic services in their practices. Therefore, these skills will still need to be taught in dental school.

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