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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 48-52

Trends in implant dentistry among private dental practitioners of Gujarat: A survey

1 Department of Prosthodontics, Government Dental College and Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
2 The Smile Makers Dental Clinic, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
3 Cliantha Research Limited, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Date of Web Publication19-Apr-2014

Correspondence Address:
Rachana J Shah
108, Neelkanth Plaza, The Smile Makers Dental Clinic, Paldi, Ahmedabad - 380 007, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-6781.130979

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Objective: The objectives of this survey were to determine the attitude of private dental practitioners (PDPs) toward implant dentistry and how they were acquiring and integrating the knowledge of implant dentistry into their everyday practice.
Materials and Methods: A postal questionnaire, of a closed response format, in a reply-paid envelope was sent to 150 private dental clinics of five different regions of Gujarat state. Returned responses were subjected to descriptive analysis.
Results: The results indicated that 95.91% of the surveyed dentists offered implants as a treatment option to their patients, but only 30.61% of surveyed dentists chose to actively practice Implant Dentistry themselves. The remaining PDPs chose to call consultants or refer the patients for the management of such cases. With the increasing popularity of courses in osseointegrated implants, a large number of PDPs are getting inclined toward Implant Dentistry.
Conclusion: From this survey, it can be concluded that as the number of PDPs doing implants are rising, there is a parallel need to organize continuing dental education programs to create awareness related to various aspects of implant dentistry.

Keywords: Implant dentistry, private dental practitioner, survey

How to cite this article:
Shah RJ, Shah SG, Patel GC. Trends in implant dentistry among private dental practitioners of Gujarat: A survey. J Dent Implant 2014;4:48-52

How to cite this URL:
Shah RJ, Shah SG, Patel GC. Trends in implant dentistry among private dental practitioners of Gujarat: A survey. J Dent Implant [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Aug 12];4:48-52. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Patients with severely resorbed bone or few missing teeth have benefitted tremendously by using dental implants. The successful use of dental implants in the treatment of edentulous arches has been reported in various clinical studies. [1],[2],[3],[4]

Increasing awareness about dental implants among patients has seen a parallel increase in the private dental practitioners (PDP's) interest of learning Implant dentistry. Implant manufacturers have provided implant courses for 20 years. However since the early 1990s, it has changed from industry sponsored courses to experienced dental practitioners conducted courses. [5]

The aim of this survey was to determine the percentage of PDPs offering implants, source of learning and how they integrate this knowledge into their daily practice.

   Materials and Methods Top

Postal questionnaires were sent to 150 Private Dental Clinics of Gujarat state. Private Dental Clinics were from five regions of the state, Central, South, North, Saurashtra and Kutch region.

The questionnaire was of a closed response format and was piloted on 15 private dental clinics. Minor modifications to the question style were made to ensure the questionnaire was clear to understand and easy to complete. It was then sent to 150 private dental clinics in reply paid envelopes along with a consent letter to be signed by the PDP. Anonymity of the respondents was assured. There was also an option for the subjects not wishing to fill the questionnaire. Questions covered general information such as gender, qualification and year of qualification of PDPs. Questions went on to assess PDP's willingness to offer implant as a treatment option to their patients, whether they do implant dentistry themselves. Questions also investigated the source from which PDPs gained the knowledge and skill of Implant dentistry. Questions also sought to elicit the most widely used implant system.

Returned responses were collected; data was analyzed using SPSS version 12.0 (IBM, USA) by a single operator. Descriptive statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS.

   Results Top

The overall response rate was 65.33% (n = 98). A total of 50 questionnaires were not returned and two were returned but left unanswered, leaving 98 usable questionnaires for analysis.

The final sample to be analyzed comprised of replies from 78.57% males and 21.43% females. Respondents had working experience over a wide range of years with 77.55% graduate PDPs and 22.44% post graduate PDPs respectively [Table 1].
Table 1: Demographic data

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To assess the importance given to implant dentistry, PDPs were asked if they offered implants as a treatment option to their patients and if so, did they prefer doing implant dentistry themselves. When analyzed as a whole, 95.91% of PDPs offered implants and 30.61% preferred doing implant dentistry themselves. The remaining PDPs opted to avail the services of specialist either by calling consultants or by referring their implant patients [Figure 1] and [Figure 2].
Figure 1: Number of private dental practitioners offering implants

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Figure 2: Preferences given by private dental practitioners for doing implant dentistry: Self, consultant, reference

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When asked if practitioners preferred doing implant placement, prosthetic phase or both surgical and prosthetic phase, marked difference was observed in the choices made. Nearly 41.84% of PDPs preferred doing both surgical and prosthetic phase with 11.22% opting only implant placement and 10.20% doing only the prosthetic phase respectively [Figure 3].
Figure 3: Level of involvement in implant dentistry

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For the source of learning implant dentistry, 36.73% PDPs had learnt from implant courses, 9.18% during the post-graduate study and 8.16% had learnt it from other sources respectively. Nearly 29.59% PDPs attended implant courses conducted by experienced dental practitioners and 12.24% attended industry or company sponsored courses [Figure 4].
Figure 4: Source of learning implant dentistry

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Participants were asked to mark the various implant systems they were using. Multiple answers were obtained with Nobel Biocare® being the most widely used implant system among 22.44% PDPs [Figure 5].
Figure 5: Implant system used by private dental practitioners

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The questionnaire went on to assess the attitude of PDPs toward the importance of pre-operative radiographs and surgical guides in implant dentistry. Nearly 88.77% respondents considered pre-operative radiographs to be very important. About 63.26% considered surgical guides to be very important and 23.47% considering it moderately important [Table 2].
Table 2: Importance given to pre-operative radiograph and surgical guide

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After consultation with a statistician it was decided that descriptive analysis was most informative and the statistical tests were not indicated for result analysis in this study.

   Discussion Top

An acceptable, usable response rate of 65.33% was achieved. Tan and Burke found an overall return rate of 61.7% in a study of a variety of questionnaires sent to PDPs. This finding suggested that the survey addressed key issues. [6] A large number of PDPs are offering implants to their patients but less than half practice implant dentistry themselves. This shows the need of organizing more continuing educational programs on implant dentistry for PDPs to update their knowledge and skills in this field if they were to provide implants as a service in their practices.

Implant courses, either company sponsored or by experienced dental practitioners, have become more prevalent in recent times. This point to the need for incorporating the basic knowledge and skill related to implant dentistry at the undergraduate level to develop this branch of dentistry for the benefit of dental patients.

With the increasing interest of PDPs in implant dentistry, most of the practitioners who do implants prefer doing both the surgical and prosthetic phases themselves. This is contrary to the finding of Klugman et al., who surveyed 312 Israeli dentists and reported that only 97 used implants in their practice. Furthermore, of these 97 dentists, 40% worked on both the surgical and restorative phases. [7] Watson reported 40-60% of general dentists in the USA replace missing teeth with implants but only a few of the muse this as a common mode of treatment. [8] These studies were carried out long time back and the changing scenario in implant dentistry all over the world should be taken into consideration.

Varying popularity of implant systems may be due to various reasons; one of them being the marketing strategy of companies, by conducting implant courses, making an obvious product bias for the PDPs attending these courses. Other reasons affecting the choice of implant systems may be its cost, ease of performing surgical and prosthetic phases, availability of implants and so on.

Radiographs were considered to be an indispensable part of Implant dentistry by all PDPs but surgical guides were not valued highly despite the fact that correct alignment of implant and the artificial tooth is critical to achieve acceptable esthetics and occlusion.

   Conclusion Top

Within the limitation of this survey, number of inferences can be drawn. More and more PDPs are offering implants to their patients and attending various courses on implant dentistry to enhance their knowledge and skill. Nobel Biocare® Implant system was the most widely used among the surveyed PDPs. Many of the practitioners preferred doing both the surgical and prosthetic phases in implant dentistry themselves. Knowledge and advantages related to the importance of surgical guide seemed to be lacking and this calls for organizing continuous educational programs. Including the basic knowledge and skill of implant dentistry at the undergraduate level will go a long way in developing this branch of dentistry for the benefit of dental patients. As this survey was conducted in a limited group of people, with limited amount of information extracted, further surveys are needed to know the level of implant dentistry practiced and various problems encountered in implant dentistry by PDPs.

   Acknowledgment Top

The authors are gratefully thankful to Gujarat Prosthodontic Forum for providing us guidance and support.

   References Top

1.Adell R, Lekholm U, Rockler B, Brånemark PI. A 15-year study of osseointegrated implants in the treatment of the edentulous jaw. Int J Oral Surg 1981;10:387-416.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Adell R, Eriksson B, Lekholm U, Brånemark PI, Jemt T. Long-term follow-up study of osseointegrated implants in the treatment of totally edentulous jaws. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 1990;5:347-59.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Zarb GA, Schmitt A. The longitudinal clinical effectiveness of osseointegrated dental implants: The Toronto study. Part I: Surgical results. J Prosthet Dent 1990;63:451-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Ekelund JA, Lindquist LW, Carlsson GE, Jemt T. Implant treatment in the edentulous mandible: A prospective study on Brånemark system implants over more than 20 years. Int J Prosthodont 2003;16:602-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Brandt RL, Fitzpatrick BJ, Moloney FB, Bartold PM. Continuing dental education in osseointegrated implants. A survey. Aust Dent J 2000;45:285-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Tan RT, Burke FJ. Response rates to questionnaires mailed to dentists. A review of 77 publications. Int Dent J 1997;47:349-54.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Klugman R, Sgan-Cohen H, Stern N. A survey of dentists practicing implant dentistry in Israel. J Prosthet Dent 1990;64:473-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Watson MT. Implant dentistry: A ten-year retrospective. Dent Prod Rep 1996;30:26-31.  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]

  [Table 1], [Table 2]

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[Pubmed] | [DOI]


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