Patients' perceptions of implant therapy and maintenance: A questionnaire-based survey.

This study explores implant therapy from a patient perspective. The results are obtained through a questionnaire focusing on four areas: information regarding possible complications received before implant therapy; information received after treatment regarding maintenance; self-performed daily home care; and implant maintenance received at the dental office. The results are based on 522 fully completed questionnaires. The main source for information to the patient was the dentist, followed by friends and relatives and, in third place, the internet.

Dental professionals
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Only 58.9% of the participants stated that they received information concerning potential complications before treatment began. Among patients with known risk factors, such as diabetes and smoking, 48.2% indicated that they received advice specifically related to their risk. 41.8% received information regarding the longevity of the implant, and the majority declared that it would last for ten years. A large majority, 91.6%, reported that they were informed concerning the need of professional maintenance after the treatment, and the greater part of these reported an interval of six months. 59.3% were informed that implants need more attention than natural teeth.

Furthermore, 58% of the study population reported a change in their oral home care after the implant therapy; 42.2% with an increase in frequency, 40.6% using specific oral hygiene devices, while 16.8% implemented both. In respect to devices used for oral home care, a manual toothbrush was used the most, followed by interdental brushes and floss. A majority reported not having tried any oral hygiene device for implant care under supervision at the clinic, though 83.5% of the participants complied with maintenance visits.

Based on these figures, the authors state that the dental profession needs to evolve patient communication to achieve improved awareness and compliance.

A summary of a scientific article

This summary of a scientific study by Brunello G et al. is presented by Anna Nilvéus Olofsson, DDS, Manager Odontology and Scientific Affairs. Click here for more information.