OBJECTIVES: This study pertains to a secondary data analysis aimed at determining differences between oral and maxillofacial surgeons (OMFSs) and dentists handling dental extractions without an evident clinical indication.
STUDY DESIGN: A survey of 18 questions was conducted among 256 OMFSs in the Netherlands and a random sample of 800 dentists Respondents could answer the questions in writing or online. The data was collected in the period from November 2019 to January 2020, during which two reminders were sent. Analysis of the data took place via descriptive statistics and Chi Square test.
RESULTS: The response rate was 28.1% (n = 72) for OMFSs and 30.3% (n = 242) for dentists. In the past three years, 81.9% (n = 59) of the OMFSs and 68.0% (n = 164) of the dentists received a request for extraction without a clinical indication. The most common reasons were financial and severe dental fear (OMFSs: 64.9 and 50.9% vs dentists: 77.4 and 36.5%). Dentists were significantly more likely (75.6%, n = 114) than OMFS (60.7%, n = 34) to comply with their last extraction request without a clinical indication. Almost none of them regretted the extraction afterwards. As for the request itself, it was found that 17.5% (n = 10) of the OMFSs and 12.5% (n = 20) of the dentists did not check for patients' mental competency (p = 0.352).
CONCLUSIONS: Given that most of the interviewed dental professionals complied with non-dental extraction requests when such extractions are ethically and legally precarious, recommendations for handling such requests are greatly needed.