September 2009

Volume 26, Issue 3

A comparison of Personal Dental Service (PDS) and General Dental Service (GDS) patients in terms of reported interventions, oral health and dentists’ perceptions

Authors: KB Hill AJ Morris DA White S McHugh R Atwal FJT Burke
doi: 10.1922/CDH_2259Hill07


Aims: The aim of the study was to investigate the reported working patterns, dentist perceptions and patient oral health for dentists in a Personal Dental Services (PDS) pilot and compare this with that of matched dentists working in the General Dental Services (GDS) arrangements in the same part of England. Method: Ten dentists were recruited, five each from PDS and GDS practices in Warwickshire, UK. The number of interventions carried out for adult patients in the year to April 2003 was obtained from the Dental Practice Board (DPB) for the two groups and compared. An Oral Health Index (OHX) (Burke and Wilson, 1995) was used to determine the oral health of a selection of patients from the two groups of dentists in the study. The final stage of the study involved semi-structured interviews with the dentists. Results: The average age of dentists was similar, in the early to mid 40’s (p>0.05). Both groups were, on average, around 20 years post qualification. The GDS dentists made an average of 3,507 activity reports to the Dental Practice Board in the year examined, compared with 3,441 from the PDS dentists. PDS dentists provided fewer simple periodontal treatments than GDS dentists, but otherwise the pattern of reported activity was similar. Both PDS and GDS dentists suggested that GDS dentists carried out more fillings because of a perverse incentive to provide fillings compared with PDS arrangements. PDS dentists believed that their treatment profiles had not changed significantly since changing to PDS, and suggested that their prescribing was based on clinical need only and was not influenced by the remuneration system. A total of 225 OHX scores were obtained for patients attending PDS dentists and a further 214 from patients attending GDS dentists. Overall, the mean OHX score was lower in the GDS patients than for PDS patients. Conclusions: PDS dentists provided fewer simple periodontal treatments than their GDS counterparts. There was no difference in the oral health of patients treated under either system. Although there was some evidence of a difference in attitude between GDS and PDS dentists towards charging and claiming for simple periodontal treatment, there was no uniformity of opinion within either group. There would appear to be a number of complex factors impacting upon decisions to treat or monitor dental conditions. Key words: Attitudes, dental services, GDS, oral health index, PDS.


Other articles in this issue

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Editorial - The contributions of Edward H. Angle to dental public health 130-131 Download
The fractional urinary fluoride excretion of adults consuming naturally and artificially fluoridated water and the influence of water hardness: A randomized trial. 132-137 Download
The prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis in the high and low altitude parts of Central Plateau, Nigeria 138-142 Download
Prevalence of enamel defects related to pre-, peri- and postnatal factors in a Brazilian population. 143-149 Download
Development of a psychometric scale to assess satisfaction with dental care among Sri Lankans 150-156 Download
Consent of older children participating in BASCD coordinated dental epidemiology surveys in Wales. 157-161 Download
Predicting relative need for urgent dental care 162-169 Download
A comparison of Personal Dental Service (PDS) and General Dental Service (GDS) patients in terms of reported interventions, oral health and dentists’ perceptions 170-176 Download
Hopelessness, depression and oral health concerns reported by community dwelling older Australians 177-182 Download
Higher-order exploratory factor analysis of the Dental Subscale of Children’s Fear Survey Schedule in a Taiwanese population. 183-187 Download
Opportunities and challenges to promoting oral health in primary schools 188-192 Download


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