Objective To identify the factors shaping the pattern of removable partial denture (RPD) provision by dentists in England. Design Cross sectional survey of general dental practitioners..
Methods Details of current practice and provision, influences, attitudes and demographic details were collected using a self-completion questionnaire mailed to general dental practitioners identified through the Dental Practice Board register..
Results Three hundred and eighty-five questionnaires were returned by general dental practitioners from 62 health authorities throughout England. The most important factor reported as influencing both the GDP's decision to provide a partial denture and its subsequent success was patient desire to have a partial denture. Constructing the denture from cobalt chrome, advising the patient on aftercare, making time available to make minor adjustments and being responsible for design were all factors dentists associated with success of a RPD. However, for a number of dentists there was a reported divergence between knowledge and practice..
Conclusion Overall it is clear that provision of partial dentures continues to be patient led. However, the decision making process is also influenced by a number of factors including time, cost and the NHS fee structure..