To assess the activity of consultants in restorative dentistry in the United Kingdom in the provision of osseointegrated dental implants within the National Health Service Hospital service and to evaluate their attitudes concerning the relevant medical and oral factors considered in patient selection for implant treatment.
Anonymous postal questionnaire in the United Kingdom.
Consultants in restorative dentistry.
Out of the sample of 145, 109 consultants (75%) completed the questionnaire in 1999. 54 of the 109 consultants (49.5%) are involved in the provision of osseointegrated implant treatment, treating an average of 29 cases/year (range 2-150). However, over one third of the respondents treated 10 or less cases/year. 89% worked with oral surgeons as an implant team. 68% used Branemark (Nobel Biocare) implants as their main system. The majority of consultants felt that smoking, psychoses and previous irradiation were the most important medical factors that contra-indicated implant retained restorations whilst untreated periodontitis, poor oral hygiene and uncontrolled caries were the most important oral contra-indications. Many centres were experiencing significant problems with the funding of implant treatment with one centre receiving no funding. The implications for patient care and specialist training are discussed.
There is a marked variation in the number of patients treated with endosseous dental implants within the United Kingdom National Health Service hospitals. Many consultants treat 10 or fewer patients each