The objective of the study was to compare the acceptability of occlusion among orthodontically treated and untreated adolescents in eight Finnish municipal health centres applying different timing of treatment. A random sample of 16- and 18-year olds (n = 2325) living in these municipalities was invited for a clinical examination, and 1109 adolescents participated. Two calibrated orthodontists blindly examined the participants for the acceptability of occlusion with the Occlusal Morphology and Function Index. The history of orthodontic treatment was elicited by questionnaire. The impact of the history and timing of treatment on the acceptability of occlusion was analysed with logistic regression analysis. The history of orthodontic treatment decreased the odds for acceptability of morphology [odds ratio (OR) = 0.719, 95 per cent confidence limit (CL), P = 0.016] and acceptability of function (OR = 0.724, 95 per cent CL, P = 0.018). The early timing of treatment increased the odds for acceptability of morphology (OR = 1.370, 95 per cent CL, P = 0.042) and of function (OR = 1.420, 95 per cent CL, P = 0.023). No substantial differences were observed in the acceptability of occlusion between the early and late timing health centres. However, the proportion of subjects with acceptable occlusion was slightly higher in the early than in the late timing group. These findings suggest that when examining the effect of timing on treatment outcome, factors other than acceptability of occlusion should be concomitantly evaluated. Consequently, in this context, the duration and cost of treatment need to be investigated.
During recent decades, the duties and care rendered by Swedish dental hygienists have continuously expanded, and since 1991 they are licensed to practice dental hygiene independently. The aim of the present study was to investigate the accuracy of dental hygienists in examining and recording dental caries in comparison with dentists performing identical examinations. The study included two parts: A) Registration of carious lesions from radiographs of 100 extracted teeth, where the correct diagnosis could be verified, and B) clinical examination and registration of carious lesions in 213 patients. No statistically significant differences could be found between the dental hygienists' and their control dentists' accuracy to diagnose and record dental decay, with the exception of the number of initial lesions (white spot lesions) registered clinically, where the dental hygienists recorded more buccal and lingual lesions. Irrespective of the group of examiners (dental hygienists or dentists), however, the inter-examiner variation was wide. The variation decreased with the size of the lesion and increased with the age of the patient. This study suggests that no patient with a restorative treatment need would have been neglected if the dental hygienists had performed the examination, and, possibly, a more accurate non-restorative treatment need would have been addressed.
Since 1950, the Public Dental Service (PDS) has gradually been developed in Norway. In addition to rendering free and systematic treatment to children aged 6--17 years, which has priority, the PDS also offers treatment to other categories of patients at fixed fees, generally lower than those in private practice. The purpose of the present study was to elucidate the impact made by PDS on the dental treatment pattern within one particular area (the district of Harstad with a population of approximately 29,000). Furthermore, the study included a description of the clientele in the PDS, excluding the "free clientele" aged 6--17, in relation to that treated in private practice. During a limited period in February--March 1974, all the 9 dentists in the PDS treating "paying clientele" and all the 9 private practitioners in the district, filled in a questionnaire by each patient visit (course of treatment) (Fig. 1). In addition to the information on social and demographic characteristics, data were also collected on dental treatment pattern, the treatment presently rendered, and the presence of teeth and possible dentures (Fig. 1). Four--fifths of the visits made by "paying clientele" were made in private practice, only one--fifth in the PDS. In private practice, rural people, women and people of young age were underrepresented. Children under 6 years of age comprised 3% of the clientele in private practice and 9% in the PDS. No significant difference was found between the two types of practice regarding the social class composition of the clientele. Dental status as measured by the occurrence of teeth and dentures was generally poorer among the PDS patients, seemingly due to the overweight of rural people and of those with an irregular or occasional treatment pattern. Totally 40% of all visits were made by regular treatment attenders. 20% of the services delivered were prophylaxes and/or periodontics, 56% were conservative and/or endodontic treatments. The introduction of the FDS in the district some 10--15 years ago has conceivably contributed to an overall increase in the demand for dental services, and to an improvement of denial treatment patterns. During this period, the number of public dentists has increased from 2--3 to a total of 12. Correspondingly, the number of private practitioners has increased from 5 to 9, of whom 2 work part time. The treatment attendance of some population subgroups is, however, still lagging behind: rural people, small children and persons over 50 years of age, and particularly people belonging to lower socio-economic brackets.
The purpose of the present work was to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of a public dental program for old-age pensioners. The dental care program offered free consultation and treatment at reduced prices to all pensioners (3072) in a municipality near Oslo in 1979. To study treatment need and access to dental care, a random sample of 430 pensioners was drawn from the total population of old-age pensioners; 371 persons were clinically examined. Of the 3072 old-age pensioners 23.7% responded positively and indicated that they were interested in the program, whereas 19.8% accepted, and 14.6% had the treatment carried out. The program adequacy was low and became lower when more restricted criteria for access to dental services were used. The program effectiveness was 18% or 16%, depending on which criteria were used for access. Acceptance of the program was highest among people who were aware of it, had natural teeth, had a dental problem, did not have their own dentist, had limited education, or were among the young pensioners.
The aim of the present study was testing the hypothesis that the adoption of nickel-titanium rotary instrumentation (NTRI) will improve the technical quality of root-fillings. The investigation was carried out within a mandatory continuing education program (CEP) for general dental practitioners (GDPs). The study was conducted amongst GDPs employed by the Public Dental Health Service in the County of Stockholm. Identical questionnaires were distributed before the CEP (Pre-Q) and 9 to 12 months after the course (Post-Q). The CEP consisted of two parts: lectures and hands-on training. From each GDP, radiographs of two cases completed before the course and two cases treated 9-12 months after the course were randomly selected. Primarily molars were selected for evaluation. The radiographs were individually evaluated by two endodontists. Teeth treated before and after training were presented in random order. Adoption rate of NTRI increased from 35% to 75%. Cases from 124 GDPs were included in the final analysis. The rate of good quality root-fillings increased from 27% to 49% (p