Knowledge of Dental Students with Respect to Orthodontic Diagnosis and Clear Aligner Therapy
The purpose of this project was to investigate how prepared dental students are to diagnose orthodontic problems and provide clear aligner therapy, and whether or not certain demographic characteristics could predict an effect on aligner knowledge or orthodontic knowledge. An IRB-approved 16-item survey was constructed and administered to 163 third and fourth year dental students at UMKC to test if demographics including school year, future practice plans, interest in orthodontics, desire to provide clear aligner therapy, and confidence to provide clear aligner therapy are associated with aligner knowledge and orthodontic knowledge. The survey was introduced to the dental students via an IRBapproved verbal script during a class, and then the students anonymously filled out the surveys. The survey questions were divided into 3 domains. The first 6 questions made up the first domain and assessed demographic information of the students. The next 4 questions investigated aligner knowledge and were grouped together in the second domain to give each student a score for their aligner knowledge. The last 6 questions were grouped together in the third domain to do the same for orthodontic knowledge. Student demographics were then used to evaluate whether or not there was an effect on students’ aligner knowledge or orthodontic knowledge. Because there was no significant difference in the aligner knowledge or orthodontic knowledge between the D3 and D4 classes, it was decided to run all evaluations to include both classes to increase the sample size. Across D3 and D4 classes, students planning to specialize in orthodontics had a significantly higher (p<0.05) orthodontic knowledge compared to students planning to enter general practice. Aligner knowledge was significantly higher (p<0.05) among students planning to refer all orthodontic cases to a specialist. Confidence to treat patients with clear aligners had no bearing on aligner knowledge and orthodontic knowledge. There was no correlation found between aligner knowledge and orthodontic knowledge.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Methods -- Results -- Discussion -- Conclusions -- Literature cited -- Appendix 1. Survey -- Appendix 2. Verbal script for survey instructions -- Appendix 3. IRB approval letter -- Appendix 4. Survey rubric