Document Detail

An investigation into dental digital radiography in dental practices in west Kent following the introduction of the 2006 NHS general dental services contract.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21457627     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
AIMS: The primary aims of the study were to investigate the use of digital radiography within primary dental care practices in the West Kent Primary Care Trust (PCT) area and general dental practitioners' (GDPs) self-reported change in radiographic prescribing patterns following the introduction of the nGDS contract in 2006.
METHODS: Data were gathered via a piloted, self-completed questionnaire, and circulated to all GDPs listed on the National Health Service (NHS) Choices website as practising in the West Kent PCT area. There were three mailings and follow-up telephone calls. The resulting data were entered into a statistical software database and, where relevant, statistically tested, using the chi-square test and Pearson correlation coefficient.
RESULTS: Of 223 GDPs, 168 (75%) responded. There were 163 usable questionnaires. The respondents represented 85% of the general dental practices in West Kent. Eighty (49%) respondents were using digital intra-oral radiography. Of those who used digital radiography, 44 (55%) reported that they used phosphor plate systems and 36 (45%) that they used direct digital sensors. Eighty-three (51%) had a panoramic machine in their practice, 46 of whom (55%) were using digital systems; of these, 32 (67%) were using a direct digital system. Seventy-one GDPs reported that they worked exclusively or mainly in private practice. Forty (56%) of these 'mainly private' GDPs reported that they used digital radiographic systems, whereas only 40 (44%) of the 89 'mainly NHS' GDPs reported using digital radio-graphic systems. On average, mainly private GDPs made the transition to a digital radiographic system six months before mainly NHS GDPs. Of those who provided NHS dentistry before and after April 2006, only 18 (14%) reported taking fewer radiographs and seven (6%) taking more.
CONCLUSIONS: In February 2010, of the West Kent GDPs who responded to the questionnaire, just under 50% used digital radio graphy. Mainly private GDPs were more likely to use digital radiography than their mainly NHS counterparts. A link between digital radiography and increased prescription of radiographs was not specifically apparent from this study. There was no evidence that West Kent GDPs were taking fewer radiographs than they did prior to the introduction of the new GDS contract in April 2006. Research is needed to investigate whether the uptake of digital radiography by GDPs in the rest of the country is similar to that in West Kent.
Peter W Mauthe; Kenneth A Eaton
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Primary dental care : journal of the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners (UK)     Volume:  18     ISSN:  1355-7610     ISO Abbreviation:  Prim Dent Care     Publication Date:  2011 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-04-04     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9617339     Medline TA:  Prim Dent Care     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  73-82     Citation Subset:  D    
General Dental Practitioner, Gravesend, Kent, UK.
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