Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 30 (2015), No. 1 21. Jan. 2015
Purpose: Implant dentistry has revolutionized the treatment of partially and completely edentulous patients. The aims of this study were to explore what made patients choose implant treatment and their prior knowledge and expectations of this treatment option.
Materials and Methods: A study population of 117 subjects was selected from 248 referred possible candidates for implant therapy. The subjects answered a questionnaire regarding implant dentistry prior to professional consultation at two hospital/university-based centers and one private implant center.
Results: In most cases, the choice of treatment was motivated by expectations of improved chewing/function (46.0%), appearance (19.5%), or both (18.6%). Improved chewing/function and improved appearance were rated "very important" by 96.5% and 86.1% of patients, respectively. Surprisingly, 57.4% reported that the cost of treatment did not play a role in their decision. Only 6.0% claimed to have much prior knowledge about the treatment and 33.6% had a realistic perception about the length of anticipated service. Patients first received implant-related information primarily (62.9%) from dentists, and 75.2% thought their dentist gave the most useful information. Significant positive associations were found between knowledge about the treatment, the need for periodic professional oral health maintenance, and expected treatment time.
Conclusion: Patients seek implant therapy primarily to improve chewing function and esthetics, whereas cost seems to be less important. Prior to treatment, many patients lack precise information on the importance of necessary implant-related hygiene measures and implant longevity. The general dentist is the primary source of information.
Keywords: dental crowns, dental health services, dental implantation, dental implants, dental prostheses, dental restoration, dentist-patient relations, implant-supported dentures, interprofessional relations, patient expectations