The purpose of the study was to determine if there had been any changes in the clinical practice and attitudes to the
care of children by general dental practitioners over a ten year period from 1986 to 1996, following the introduction of a system of
capitation payments in the United Kingdom.
A questionnaire was mailed to 1,290 general dental practitioners practicing in
Yorkshire (UK) in an identical way to a previous survey ten years before. Practitioners were asked questions concerning their practice of
dental caries prevention, behaviour management, restoration of primary teeth and pulp therapy. Responses were compared with the
results of the 1986 survey.
Of the total of 687 replies (53.2 response) 61 practiced, or said they practiced,
diet evaluation and gave dietary advice. Oral hygiene instruction was reported by 87 and 57 used fissure sealants. The
routine use of amalgam, previously 80, had declined to 35 in favour of glass ionomer cements (57). There had
been a significant improvement in the use of pulp therapy for primary teeth at 35 compared with previous 3. The use of
rubber dam also increased, but only from 0 before to 9 in the present study. The usage of stainless steel crowns had
changed from 2 over ten years to 8 and strip crowns from 1 to 5.
The use of paediatric
dental techniques by general dental practitioners had generally increased, particularly in preventive measures and pulp treatment.
Restorative techniques had marginally changed, but a dramatic shift away from amalgam had occurred. There was still a very low usage
of stainless steel crowns and rubber dam was also not used to the extent that it should be.
Vol.4 – n.1/2003
Harvard: D. Roshan, M. E. Curzon, C. G. Fairpo (2003) "Changes in dentists' attitudes and practice in paediatric dentistry", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 4(1), pp21-27. doi:
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