Surveys were conducted in 1972 and 1990 to analyze conceptions among Finns of their own periodontal status. The interview samples, drawn to represent the Finnish population, aged 15 years and more, comprised 965 persons in 1972 and 1,006 in 1990. After excluding edentulous individuals, a total of 732 in 1972 and 853 in 1990 were accepted for the interview study. In 1990, 2% of the respondents stated that they currently had gingivitis, the percentage being highest in the youngest age group (6%). In both years there were no statistically significant differences between the age, education, and residence subgroups with regard to gingivitis: nearly 60% of those in all subgroups claimed that they had never had gingivitis. The proportions of those who had never experienced gingival bleeding were 54% in 1972 and 50% in 1990. During the first observation period the youngest age group (15-24 years) was the only one in which the increment in self-recognized gingivitis was accompanied by a higher proportion experiencing gingival bleeding. The overall low prevalence of self-recognized gingivitis is at variance with the estimated periodontal treatment need according to Finnish clinical epidemiologic data. Our results indicate that knowledge concerning periodontal disease is still poor in Finland.
The Medical Faculty of the University of Helsinki decided to employ a web-based evaluation system as an integral and essential part of all courses beginning in the autumn term of 2006.
To analyse the effects of the intervention on dental students' web-based responses at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
A previously developed web-based tool was used for all preclinical and clinical courses from the beginning of the 2006-2007 academic year. We analysed data sets of student feedback for all courses before (2005-2006) and after (2006-2007) the intervention. We then compared the quantity and quality of the students' feedback for the six standardised questions used in the evaluation, and calculated the means and standard deviations of values obtained with a Likert scale. The students' assessments in the open questions were categorised according to key issues.
Implementation of the system resulted in a considerable increase in student feedback: the mean response rate for the preclinical phase rose from 59% (SD 15.0; range 25-80) before the intervention to 90% (SD 9.6; range 72-100) after it. In the clinical phase, the response rates more than doubled from 34% (SD 15.9; range 9-69) to 73% (SD 12.9; range 45-100). The students' assessments showed no significant change despite the marked rise in response rates. The educators' positive attitude towards the students was appreciated (4.2-4.3) whereas the general goals for the courses in the clinical phase seemed unclear to the students (3.4) (P
To improve the continuing education system, a group of dentists who had made little use of continuing education courses offered by the Finnish Dental Society was identified, and their opinions were mapped out and compared with those of dentists who had taken part in the systematic continuing education program. A pretested questionnaire was sent to these respective groups of 725 and 533 dentists, giving 82% and 72% return rates. A fifth of the dentists in service had never made use of the continuing education courses. Compared with all working 30-65-year-old dentists, male dentists, dentists under 35, and dentists working in rural area were over-represented in the group that had taken little part in continuing education. The dentists who had participated in systematic continuing education had also taken part in education organized by others twice as frequently as the control group. Both survey groups reported that they regularly read two professional periodicals on the average. There were only minor differences in the answers of the two groups as to whether they would be interested in participating in courses free of charge. The need for continuing education in orthodontics dominated among employed dentists, whereas self-employed dentists most frequently perceived a need in prosthodontics. Continuing education was generally considered necessary and useful but somewhat expensive.
Changes in the utilization of dental services by the adult Finnish population were studied by reanalyzing the data from a nationwide study carried out in 1971 and by comparing those results with the data from an interview study of 581 persons carried out in 1980. In 1971, 56% of the interviewees had visited a dentist within the last 12 months. The corresponding percentage was 54% in 1980. The most common reason for the latest dental visit was routine examination in 1980, and only 4% of the interviewees had been recalled by the dentist. However, the recall system, when explained, was regarded as acceptable and practical by the vast majority of the interviewees. In 1971 utilization study found that the interviewees had a positive attitude toward dental health education. Likewise, the majority of interviewees in 1980 expressed a wish to keep their own teeth for their lifetime.