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The Relationship between Self-Rated Proficiency in Orthodontics and Tested Orthodontic Knowledge of Dentists Using Facebook in the United Kingdom

The Relationship between Self-Rated Proficiency in Orthodontics and Tested Orthodontic Knowledge of Dentists Using Facebook in the United Kingdom

MJ Rowland-Warmann1*, Parmjit Singh2

Journal Title: Journal of Dental Health and Oral Research
Abstract


Introduction: There has been a rise in orthodontic treatments being undertaken by dentists in the United Kingdom (UK). Levels of orthodontic education vary, and this may impact upon self-rated proficiency and tested knowledge of orthodontics. Purpose: The study aimed to assess the relationship between self-rated proficiency in orthodontics and tested orthodontic knowledge of dentists in a UK Facebook group, and determine if this was related to the level of orthodontic education. Materials and Methods: A two-part online survey was sent to dentists who were members of a closed Facebook group (The Dentist UK). Part one asked demographic and attitudinal questions including practice environment, level of orthodontic education and self-rated ability in diagnosis and treatment (proficiency). Part two consisted of questions to test orthodontic knowledge. Eligible participants were placed into one of four groups based on level of education: General Dental Practitioners (GDPs) with single day course completion (group 1), multiple day course completion (group 2), postgraduate course completion (group 3) and specialist level training (group 4). Results: A total of 102 participants completed the study, of which 38.2% (n=39) did not undertake orthodontic treatments. The remaining participants (n=63; 61.8%) were assigned group 1 (n=32; 50.8%), group 2 (n=8; 12.7%), group 3 (n=13; 20.6%) and group 4 (n=10; 15.9%). Group 1 rated themselves least proficient (mean=3.27), followed by group 2 (mean=3.71), group 3 (mean=3.9) and then group 4 (mean=4.47). Knowledge test scores were lowest for group 1 (37.8%), then group 2 (60%), group 3 (56.2%) and group 4 (73.5%). Self-rated proficiency significantly predicted accuracy on the knowledge test. The level of education positively correlated with the knowledge test scores. Conclusions: Test scores for orthodontic knowledge generally increased with increasing levels of self-rated orthodontic proficiency. Those with lower levels of orthodontic education generally performed less well in the orthodontic knowledge test.