Purpose: The growing demand for implants has led to their implementation by general dental practitioners (GDPs) in clinical practice. The present study assessed referral patterns of GDPs for the surgical phase of implant dental treatment.
Keywords: dental implant, implant placement, referral patterns
Materials and Methods: One hundred fifty GDPs were asked to fill out a structured questionnaire containing their demographic data and answer six questions characterising their referral patterns for implant dentistry.
Results: Forty-one (41%) percent performed the surgical phase, and 87% provided implant restoration. Gender was the only influencing factor for the surgical phase, as 51.4% of male GDPs and 6.5% of female GDPs performed implant surgery themselves. Experience and practice set-up did not influence the referring decision. Fifty-four percent of the practitioners referred 0 to 5 patients per month, and the chosen specialists were: 80% oral and maxillofacial surgeon, 11% periodontist, and 9% selected a specialist depending on the individual case. The major reasons influencing the referral pattern were the complexity of the surgical procedure, followed by systemic medical compromise of the patient.
Conclusions: Most implant surgeries in Israel are still performed by specialists.