Dental hygienists as primary oral health providers and their degree of professionalism

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Dental hygienists as primary oral health providers and their degree of professionalism

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Publication Other
Title Dental hygienists as primary oral health providers and their degree of professionalism
Author(s) Ordell, Sven ; Söderfeldt, Björn
Date 2006
English abstract
The number of active dentists in Sweden will fall sharply in the next decade and will partially be countered by an increased number of dental hygienists. The acceptance of this transition to primary oral health care by hygienists will be dependent on many factors; among them will be the perceived service quality offered by the dental hygienists, which may depend on how their professional status is perceived. Aim To find out whether the professional status of Swedish dental hygienists is such that it is possible to meet the demands from the population. Methods The professional status of Swedish dentists and dental hygienists was analysed by the variables suggested by Greenwood (1957). [Greenwood E. Social Work.1957 2: 45-55.] Results The variables used point to shortcomings in the professional status of Swedish dental hygienists. Dentists in Sweden constitute a strong profession, while dental hygienists are emerging as a profession. They lack a coherent and systematic theory in their academic education. Their fields of expertise are not exclusive to their group and that further weakens their professional status. They will probably not meet the service quality that is presently expected by the population. Many factors will have to be combined to make possible the necessary transition from dentists to dental hygienists as primary providers of oral health care. One of them is that the expected level of service must be adjusted to the available personnel. Conclusions The professional status of the dental hygienists needs to be consolidated and strengthened by a more homogenous curriculum. Acknowledgements: This study was supported by the dental commissioning unit in Östergötland County Council.
Host/Issue Community Dental Health;3
Volume 23
Pages 169-170
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Medicine
Research Subject Categories::ODONTOLOGY
Note The 11th Annual Conference of The European Association of Dental Public Health (EADPH), 7-9 September, 2006, Praque, Czech Republic
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/3829 (link to this page)

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