Studies aimed at examining gender and age differences as they relate to dental anxiety have begun to appear in the literature. The purpose of this investigation was to explore fear and anxiety in a dental hygiene setting and evaluate gender and age differences among four sub-scales of dental hygiene fear.
The Dental Hygiene Fear Survey (DHFS) was developed to address patient reaction to dental hygiene treatment. The University of Washington Dental Fears Model was the theoretical model used for it identifies four domains of dental fear: fear of specific stimuli, generalized anxiety, fear of catastrophe, and distrust.
Males and females respond differently to dental hygiene treatment with women reporting significantly (p<.05) greater fear overall than males. Examination of the four dental hygiene fear sub-scales show that females report greater fear (p<.05) in relation to specific fear and generalized anxiety. There were no significant differences across age categories on total fear scores or within any of the sub-scales.
Characterization of the dental hygiene fear patient along with knowledge of procedures that elicit anxiety can assist the practitioner in recognizing dental hygiene-related fear. With this foundation, the practitioner can then develop management strategies specific to this phenomenon.
As society transitions deeper into the Information Age, Information Technology has become a critical tool that supports all facets of the global economy. The Internet, via the World-Wide Web (WWW), has become a major component of business operations for corporate and educational organizational entities. An estimated 10,000 or more health-related websites are providing information for both consumers and healthcare professionals. In addition to private and state-supported institutions being present on the Internet, the federal government has moved rapidly toward disseminating information electronically, with significant utilization of the WWW as the technological vehicle. All branches of the US Government and federal-related agencies are now represented on the Internet in an effort to deliver content to their end users, primarily the public. The intent of this article is to complement the previous publication, “Internet Resources for Dentistry: Utilization of the Internet to Support Professional Growth, Decision Making, and Patient Care,” by presenting dental healthcare professionals with information on additional governmental and medical “Internet” sites. In addition, healthcare professionals must arm themselves with more than just access itself, but also the ability to critically judge the quality of information retrieved from the WWW.1,2,5
The dental healthcare marketplace is consumer driven. The astute practice manager monitors the effectiveness of patient care in terms of both the actual dental service rendered and the process used to deliver the service. One mechanism that can be helpful is the use of a patient satisfaction survey to determine the status of the relationship between the dental practice and patient's of record. This article presents a perspective on the importance of patient feedback as well as a sample survey form that may be useful to the practicing dental professional.
Odontogenic keratocyst (OKC) is a cyst of tooth origin with an aggressive clinical behavior including a high recurrence rate. OKC demographics in the northwestern United States are presented and compared to those reported elsewhere. A total of 430 cases were obtained from 393 patients of the northwest region over a period of 15 years. Data evaluated included: site, gender, age, race, and association with bifid-rib basal cell nevus syndrome (Gorlin syndrome). Site distribution of the northwest group was similar to that of international groups. For the northwest group, the most common lesion location was the body of the mandible. Gender distribution in the northwest group appeared similar to other reports made in Denmark, England, Japan, and other regions in the United States. However, when gender distribution was compared by decade of life, the northwest group had the largest cluster of males in the fourth decade and of females in the second decade. The greatest frequency in both genders occurred in the third decade. There were 18 of 258 (6.9%) male patients with OKC under age 10 in the northwest group and nearly 80% of the patients were Caucasian. The race factor is rarely described in other reports. Gorlin's syndrome was present in 5% of the patients, with a higher distribution in the first and second decades. In conclusion, this is the first report of OKC cases from the Pacific Northwest region of the United States of America.
Growth in the aging population has resulted in an increasing number of older persons requiring dentures. The microporous surfaces of an acrylic denture provide a wide range of environments to support microorganisms that can threaten the health of a physically vulnerable patient. The maintenance of denture prostheses is important for the health of patients and to maintain an esthetic, odor-free appliance.
Mechanical, chemical, and a combination of mechanical and chemical strategies are available to patients to facilitate denture hygiene. Brushing is an ineffective method of denture disinfection. Household bleach or vinegar are effective as are the commercial, effervescent products sold for denture soaking. A new denture cleaner contains silicone polymer that provides a protective coating for dentures as a final step in the cleaning process. The coating helps to minimize the adhesion of accretions to the denture throughout the day until the next cleaning.
Dental professionals must have a current knowledge of denture cleansing strategies in order to maximize the service offered to denture patients.
Diabetes mellitus, specifically type 2 diabetes, is one of the major public health issues facing the world in the 21st Century. This article summarizes the rapid changes in the management of diabetes and its impact on dental practice. The reader will find many “hyperlinks” to other diabetes information on the Internet throughout this article as these links provide greater detail. The incidence of type 1 diabetes has increased slowly, while that of type 2 diabetes has increased explosively. The worldwide incidence of type 2 is likely to double by the year 2010 due in large part to changing lifestyles, longer life expectancy, and rapid growth of ethnic and racial populations that have high prevalence rates. There are 15.7 million people or 5.9% of the population in the United States who have diabetes. While an estimated 10.3 million have been diagnosed, it is unfortunate that 5.4 million people are not aware they have the disease. Diabetic dental patient management strategies are presented. Dental professionals are urged to remain current in their knowledge of this disease in order to provide proper care for their patients.