Research Article
Volume 19 Issue 5 - 2020
Attitudes of Mississippi Licensed Dentists and Faculty toward Dental Therapy Model
Ahmad Abdelkarim1*, David A Felton2, Elizabeth O Carr3‎ and Emily Turbeville4
1Professor and Chair, Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, USA
2Professor and Dean, School of Dentistry, University of Mississippi Medical Center, USA
3Associate Professor, Department of Dental Hygiene, School of Dentistry, University of Mississippi Medical Center, USA
4Dental Student at School of Dentistry, University of Mississippi Medical Center, USA
*Corresponding Author: Ahmad Abdelkarim, Professor and Chair, Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, USA.
Received: March 30, 2020; Published: April 28, 2020




Abstract

Incorporation of a mid-level dental provider into the oral health care system provides an opportunity for increased access to care for patients in rural or underserved areas, especially in states in which there is a lack of adequate number of dentists in rural areas. The purpose of this study was to assess the attitudes of dentists and dental faculty in Mississippi toward the dental therapy model. A survey instrument was designed with four demographic questions (age, gender, faculty status, private practice status), ten statements rated on a Likert scale assessing general acceptance of dental therapy model, and three open-ended questions assessing advantages, disadvantages and perspectives of respondents about dental therapy. After IRB approval, the survey was distributed through Qualtrics system to 567 licensed dentists and faculty in Mississippi, of which 109 respondents completed the survey (response rate of 19%). Mann-Whitney U test was used to test the null hypotheses regarding response equality between different groups (age, gender, faculty status, private practice status), with a statistical significance set at 0.05. In this study, most responses of different groups had no statistical differences (p˃0.05). Overall, the attitudes of licensed Mississippi dentists about dental therapy were remarkably negative. Qualitative results showed that few Mississippi dentists perceive that the dental therapy model could increase access to care. However, most of the qualitative data revealed major concerns about dental therapy, including unease with insufficient education, inability to manage clinical complications, potential for reduction of quality of care, and the perception of endangering the public.

Keywords: Dental Therapy Model; Allied Dental Education; Dental Licensure

References

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Citation: Ahmad Abdelkarim., et al. “Attitudes of Mississippi Licensed Dentists and Faculty toward Dental Therapy Model”. EC Dental Science 19.5 (2020): 150-160.

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