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General dental practitioner views on the current and future provision of advanced NHS restorative dentistry services: a cross-sectional survey in England

Lookup NU author(s): Christopher O'ConnorORCiD, Dr Richard HollidayORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022, The Author(s). Introduction Advanced NHS restorative dentistry services are an important aspect of patient care. Managed clinical networks (MCNs) have been proposed as a future model of care. Aim To assess general dental practitioners' (GDPs') satisfaction with the current provision of advanced NHS restorative dentistry services and assess their views on MCNs. Methods A self-administered, online survey was distributed by the Northern Dental Practice Based Research Network and was shared on social media. Results In total, 108 responses were received from GDPs working in England; 55% in the North East. GDPs felt current services for periodontics, endodontics, tooth surface loss and temporomandibular disorders were the most important and were most unsatisfied with periodontics, endodontics and tooth surface loss. The most important barriers to current referral practice were previous referral rejections and the return of costly treatment plans. Opinions were favourable towards the proposed MCNs, with one-third of participants feeling they were already suitable to apply to deliver Level 2 services. There was a notable imbalance between sexes, with fewer female dentists (57%) registering interest in joining an MCN compared to their male counterparts (76%) and female dentists also identifying more barriers to join MCNs, including access to suitable training. Recent graduates were least likely to cite a lack of time as a barrier to engaging with MCNs. Conclusions GDPs are currently unsatisfied with advanced NHS restorative dentistry services but appear keen to engage with MCNs. The survey identified important insights which may help healthcare planners develop services.

Publication metadata

Author(s): O'Connor C, Bridges-Smith F, Docherty C, Northern Dental Practice Based Research Network, Holliday R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Dental Journal

Year: 2022

Pages: Epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 04/03/2022

Acceptance date: 06/05/2021

Date deposited: 22/03/2022

ISSN (print): 0007-0610

ISSN (electronic): 1476-5373

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/s41415-022-4035-y


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