Special Issue "Changing Dental Profession – Modern Forms and Challenges in Dental Practice"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Oral Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Thomas Wolf
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Restorative, Preventive and Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dental Medicine, University of Bern, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland
Interests: restorative dentistry; endodontics; hypnosis; oral epidemiology; health services research
Prof. Dr. Guglielmo Campus
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last two decades, an increasing trend toward new forms of dental practice has been observed. Although the classic model of a dental practice with only one dentist is still the most common form of practice internationally, requirements and political conditions have changed enormously. The choice of the practice model and the form of professional practice offer young dentists several options, e.g., being a self-employed intrapreneur or being an employee in one of the practice forms or working in the public health sector or in industry. Expectations for the future career of students and young dentists are diverse, with the oral health care sector shifting due to factors such as financial investors opening many large dental centers, increasing numbers of employed dentists, a possible oversupply in urban and undersupply in rural areas, and a shortage or emigration of skilled personnel. Furthermore, technical and professional challenges associated with progress through research, new fields such as artificial intelligence and big data, sustainability and green dentistry, teledentistry, the cross-border use of services, and digital transformation in health care contribute to change. These factors can influence dentists, people working in the oral health care sector, and even patients. A reorganization of public and private dental care providers’ activities might be required.

Papers addressing these topics are invited to this Special Issue, including protocol papers on dental personnel modification strategies, and surveys on awareness and modification of behaviors by patients and dentists. These influences should be analyzed, and approaches to solutions and support for the next generation of dentists should be developed.

Dr. Thomas Wolf
Prof. Dr. Guglielmo Campus
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • changing dental profession
  • digitalization
  • artificial intelligence
  • future career prospects
  • green dentistry
  • modern forms of practice
  • sustainability
  • oral health policy
  • e-health
  • young dentists

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Changing Dental Profession—Modern Forms and Challenges in Dental Practice
by and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1945; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041945 - 17 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1301
Abstract
In the last two decades, an increasing trend towards new forms of dental practice was observed [...] Full article

Research

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Article
Influence of Oral Health Care Systems on Future Career Environment of Dental Students in Europe
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8292; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18168292 - 05 Aug 2021
Viewed by 445
Abstract
Oral healthcare is organized subsidiarily and independently by nation states in Europe and also within the EU and consequently, major differences between the nation states and the various oral healthcare systems in Europe are present. The socialization in the respective catchment area can [...] Read more.
Oral healthcare is organized subsidiarily and independently by nation states in Europe and also within the EU and consequently, major differences between the nation states and the various oral healthcare systems in Europe are present. The socialization in the respective catchment area can have an impact on the job choice and the perception of employment opportunities of different professional groups. Therefore, the purpose of this survey was to elucidate the influence of different oral healthcare systems on students living or studying in the respective catchment area. A questionnaire (in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish) with 18 different components was administered. Data on gender, age, country of origin, university, semester, nationality, expected time of graduation, and forecast for future professional practices were gathered. In addition, 3851 students participated (2863 f/988 m). The sample distribution was uneven with predominantly Bismarckian and Southern European System participants. The National oral health care system was statistically significantly linked (p < 0.01) to the ownership period of a dental practice. Students in Bismarckian and Nordic systems tended to find their own practice earlier than in the Beverdigian system or Southern European and Transitional—East European systems. An association between the oral health care system and vocational training was inhomogeneous, but also significantly different (p < 0.01). The majority (47.51%, n = 1555) would like to work in their own practice, 18.95% (n = 621) want to establish a practice with two or more owners. It was striking that no student would like to work in the investor practice/practice chain of both Nordic, Beveridgian and Transitional—East European countries systems (p < 0.01). The oral health care system in which a dental student grows up/resides/studies influences the career choice/perception of future professional practice. Full article
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Article
Implementation of COVID-19 Infection Control Measures by German Dentists: A Qualitative Study to Identify Enablers and Barriers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5710; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18115710 - 26 May 2021
Viewed by 993
Abstract
Objectives: COVID-19 infection control measures have been recommended for dental practices worldwide. This qualitative study explored barriers and enablers for the implementation of these measures in German dental practices. Methods: Semi-structured phone interviews were conducted in November/December 2020 (purposive/snowball sampling). The Theoretical Domains [...] Read more.
Objectives: COVID-19 infection control measures have been recommended for dental practices worldwide. This qualitative study explored barriers and enablers for the implementation of these measures in German dental practices. Methods: Semi-structured phone interviews were conducted in November/December 2020 (purposive/snowball sampling). The Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and the Capabilities, Opportunities and Motivations influencing Behaviors model (COM-B) were used to guide interviews. Mayring’s content analysis was employed to analyze interviews. Results: All dentists (28–71 years, 4/8 female/male) had implemented infection control measures. Measures most frequently not adopted were FFP2 masks, face shields (impractical), the rotation of teams (insufficient staffing) and the avoidance of aerosol-generating treatments. Dentists with personal COVID-19 experience or those seeing themselves as a role model were more eager to adopt measures. We identified 34 enablers and 20 barriers. Major barriers were the lack of knowledge, guidelines and recommendations as well as limited availability and high costs of equipment. Pressure by staff and patients to ensure infection control was an enabler. Conclusions: Dentists are motivated to implement infection control measures, but lacking opportunities limited the adoption of certain measures. Policy makers and equipment manufacturers should address these points to increase the implementation of infection control measures against COVID-19 and potential future pandemics. Full article
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Article
Dental Workload Reduction during First SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 Lockdown in Germany: A Cross-Sectional Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3164; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18063164 - 19 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1028
Abstract
An observational cross-sectional survey was planned to analyze the weekly workload reduction of German dentists during lockdown due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were predominantly members of the Free Association of German Dentists and filled in an online questionnaire. The questionnaire was [...] Read more.
An observational cross-sectional survey was planned to analyze the weekly workload reduction of German dentists during lockdown due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were predominantly members of the Free Association of German Dentists and filled in an online questionnaire. The questionnaire was sent to a total of 9416 dentists, with a response rate of 27.98% (n = 2635). Respondents were divided into seven macro areas by gross domestic product. Nearly two-thirds of dentists (65.16%) reported a reduction in their practice workload of more than 50% compared to the pre-pandemic period with statistically significant differences between German macro areas (p < 0.01). Weekly workload was reduced during the lockdown in 93.00% of study participants, while 55.33% dental care centers with multiple employed dentists under the direction of a non-dentist general manager had only a 40% reduction in weekly workload compared to a solo practice or a practice of a dentist with an employed dentist (30.24% and 28.39%, respectively). Dentists in Germany drastically reduced their practice activity during the first wave of the COVID-19 lockdown, both in rural and urban areas. Short, medium, and long-term effects of the pandemic on dental practices, dental staff as well as patient care need to be further investigated. Full article
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Article
Early Tooth Loss after Periodontal Diagnosis: Development and Validation of a Clinical Decision Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1363; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18031363 - 02 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1282
Abstract
The aim of this study was to develop and validate a predictive early tooth loss multivariable model for periodontitis patients before periodontal treatment. A total of 544 patients seeking periodontal care at the university dental hospital were enrolled in the study. Teeth extracted [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to develop and validate a predictive early tooth loss multivariable model for periodontitis patients before periodontal treatment. A total of 544 patients seeking periodontal care at the university dental hospital were enrolled in the study. Teeth extracted after periodontal diagnosis and due to periodontal reasons were recorded. Clinical and sociodemographic variables were analyzed, considering the risk of short-term tooth loss. This study followed the transparent reporting of a multivariable prediction model for individual prognosis or diagnosis (TRIPOD) guidelines for development and validation, with two cohorts considered as follows: 455 patients in the development phase and 99 in the validation phase. As a result, it was possible to compute a predictive model based on tooth type and clinical attachment loss. The model explained 25.3% of the total variability and correctly ranked 98.9% of the cases. The final reduced model area under the curve (AUC) was 0.809 (95% confidence interval (95% CI): 0.629–0.989) for the validation sample and 0.920 (95% CI: 0.891–0.950) for the development cohort. The established model presented adequate prediction potential of early tooth loss due to periodontitis. This model may have clinical and epidemiologic relevance towards the prediction of tooth loss burden. Full article
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Article
Expectations Regarding Dental Practice: A Cross-Sectional Survey of European Dental Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7296; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17197296 - 06 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1127
Abstract
Obtaining information on expectations among dental students regarding their career planning was the main purpose of this observational online survey. The questionnaire was designed with 18 items in five different languages: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Data were collected on nationality, age, [...] Read more.
Obtaining information on expectations among dental students regarding their career planning was the main purpose of this observational online survey. The questionnaire was designed with 18 items in five different languages: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Data were collected on nationality, age, sex, country of residence, university attended, semester, expected year of graduation and expectations about future career. More than 3000 participants (n = 3851, 2863 females 74.34% and 988 males 25.66% with a sex ratio of 0.35) participated in the survey. Almost one-third (31.29%) of the participants plan to start their own practice at least three years after vocational training, a quarter (25.76%) after three, and only 12.59% after one year. A positive influence of the family in the decision to start a practice was observed in 50.07% of the sample with a statistically significant difference regarding sex (p < 0.01). Almost one-third of the participants did not wish to work in an institution run by private equity or insurance companies, while 21.79% would work in that environment (p < 0.01). European dental students desire mainly to become self-employed and start their own practice. New professional practices also offer them options for their future career that they have not yet decided on or thought about. Full article
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Review

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Review
Is Visual Pedagogy Effective in Improving Cooperation towards Oral Hygiene and Dental Care in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 789; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18020789 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1286
Abstract
Visual pedagogy has emerged as a new approach in improving dental care in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). This paper aimed to evaluate and assess the scientific evidence on the use of visual pedagogy in improving oral hygiene skills and cooperation during [...] Read more.
Visual pedagogy has emerged as a new approach in improving dental care in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). This paper aimed to evaluate and assess the scientific evidence on the use of visual pedagogy in improving oral hygiene skills and cooperation during dental care in children with ASDs. The review protocol was registered on the PROSPERO Register (CRD42020183030). Prospective clinical studies, randomized trials, interruptive case series, before and after comparison studies, and cross-sectional studies following the PRISMA guideline were searched in PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and Google Scholar using ad hoc prepared search strings. The search identified 379 papers, of which 342 were excluded after title and abstract evaluation, and 37 full-text papers were analyzed. An additional four papers were added after consulting reference lists. Eighteen papers were disregarded; 23 were finally included, and their potential bias was assessed using ROB-2 and ROBINS-I tools. The wide heterogenicity of the studies included does not allow for conclusive evidence on the effectiveness of visual pedagogy in oral hygiene skills and dental care. Nevertheless, a significant and unilateral tendency of the overall outcomes was found, suggesting that visual pedagogy supports ASD children in improving both oral hygiene skills and cooperation during dental care. Full article
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