The shortened dental arch concept: Awareness and opinion of dentists in Victoria, Australia
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Background: The occlusion of a complete dental arch is generally desirable but not necessary nor always achievable inmany individuals. It is, however, relevant for dentists to consider what minimum number of teeth is required by individ-uals for oral function. This study investigated dentists’ awareness and opinion of the shortened dental arch (SDA) con-cept in an Australian context.Methods: A self-administered voluntary and anonymous questionnaire was mailed to a sample of 434 dentists, randomlyselected from both rural and metropolitan locations in Victoria, Australia. The information collected included awarenessof the SDA concept and its application as a treatment option.Results: More than half of the respondents (61%) were aware of the SDA concept. All respondents ‘agreed’ or ‘stronglyagreed’ with the seven criteria of SDA proposed in this study based on K€ayser (1989). The majority (78.4%) believedthat the SDA concept is useful in clinical practice. Dentists with <20 years of experience expressed more awareness com-pared to others (v2test, p = 0.004).Conclusions: Most dentists who responded to this survey agreed that the SDA is a practical and useful treatment modal-ity for older adults with limitations to complex restorative care. However, application of the SDA varied considerablyamong dentists.
Australian Dental Journal
Dentistry not elsewhere classified