The Extent and Scope of Prosthodontic Practice in Iowa.
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.MATERIALS AND METHODS
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.RESULTS
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.CONCLUSIONS
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.