Judgment of the quality of restorative care as predictors of restoration retreatment: findings from the National Dental PBRN
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The primary aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that a patient's subjective assessments of the dentist's technical competence, quality of care, and anticipated restoration longevity during a restorative visit are predictive of restoration outcome. This prospective cohort study involved 3,326 patients who received treatment for a defective restoration in a permanent tooth, participated in a baseline patient satisfaction survey, and returned for follow-up. Of the 4,400 restorations that were examined by 150 dentists, 266 (6%) received additional treatment after baseline. Reporting satisfaction with the technical skill of the dentist or quality of the dental work at baseline was not associated with retreatment after baseline. However, patients' views at baseline that the fee was reasonable (odds ratio [OR], 1.6) was associated with retreatment after baseline, whereas satisfaction at baseline with how long the filling would last (OR, 0.6) was associated with less retreatment. These findings suggest that retreatment occurs more often for patients who at baseline are satisfied with the cost or who at baseline have less confidence in the restoration. The authors found no associations between restoration retreatment and the patients' baseline evaluations of the technical skills of their dentists or perceptions of quality care. KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER STATEMENT: Dental patients' ratings of their dentist's skills were not related to a restoration needing retreatment. Patients focus on other aspects of the dental visit when making this judgment.
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