Maxillofacial prosthetics training and practice profiles in the United States

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Abstract

Statement of problem.

The motivation of maxillofacial prosthodontists to go into fellowship training and specific procedures in maxillofacial prosthetics practice once they have completed training has not been previously evaluated.

Purpose.

The purpose of this study was to survey maxillofacial prosthodontists in the United States to investigate their reasons for pursuing maxillofacial prosthetic training and their practice profiles.

Material and methods.

In June 2015, a survey was sent to all US maxillofacial prosthodontists asking for descriptive demographics, their reasoning as to what prompted entrance into a maxillofacial prosthetic program, and their practice pattern. Frequencies, percentages, means, and standard deviations were calculated and reported.

Results.

The survey response rate was 60.4%. The main reason for pursuing maxillofacial training was primarily personal satisfaction, prosthodontic residency exposure, and mentorship rather than media exposure and compensation. The time spent in prosthodontic practice varied among practitioners, with the majority of practice time spent accomplishing standard prosthodontic procedures (65.59%) versus maxillofacial (25.53%) or surgical procedures (9.67%). Of 12 clinical maxillofacial procedures inquired about, the most prevalent were obturators, dental oncology, and mandibular resections.

Conclusions.

This study reveals that personal satisfaction, mentorship, and prosthodontic residency exposure were the reasons most prosthodontists pursued an additional year of maxillofacial prosthetic fellowship. Most were very satisfied with their training and chosen career path and would recommend an additional year of training. The majority of maxillofacial prosthodontists provided maxillofacial prosthetic treatment for approximately one fourth of their practice time. The most common procedures performed were obturators, dental oncology, and mandibular resections.

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