A comparative study of trends in dental assistant utilization among dentists in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Boston, Massachusetts
LeGallee, Bunny L.
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether the changes currently evolving in the delivery of dental care are affecting the way in which dental assistants are being utilized and, if so, whether the training offered in accredited dental assisting programs is meeting the needs and demands of the system. It was intended that the results of this study would be useful in determining future directions for dental assisting as a career, and in invoking changes in dental assisting education to improve satisfaction of both dentists and dental assistants. The research was conducted via survey questionnaires which were mailed to 300 randomly selected dentists in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Boston, Massachusetts. The survey items focused on the dentists’ backgrounds and attitudes toward dental assistant utilization; numbers and credentials of dental assistants employed; and current utilization patterns of dental assistants. The results were summarized with descriptive statistics, frequencies and distributions, and analyzed using chi-square and tests of correlation. It appeared that changes in dental education and in modes of delivery of dental services had little effect on patterns of dental assistant utilization and, moreover, that the emphasis of the A.D.A. accreditation standards for dental assisting education programs was congruent with the demands of the surveyed dental practitioners. It was further apparent that although dentists had positive attitudes toward dental assistant utilization, they appeared to be unaware of the status of state regulations governing utilization of dental auxiliaries, and generally underutilize the skills of trained assistants. This paper addresses these and other issues of concern to dental assistants, dental assisting educators and dentists. The results of this study provide a foundation for many areas of future research.
Thesis (M.Sc.)--Boston University, Henry M. Goldman School of Graduate Dentistry, 1985 (Dental Public Health).Includes bibliographical references: (leaves 70-74).
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