Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate if the use of a 3D intraoral scan as a visual aid improves a patient’s communication self-efficacy and risk-literacy concerning their periodontal disease status.

Methods: This study used a parallel experimental research design and collected quantitative data through a pre-test and two post-tests for both groups. The Ask, Understand, Remember Assessment (AURA) survey was used to collect quantitative data pertaining to patient communication self-efficacy and the Protection Motivation Survey (PMS) was used to evaluate each patient’s risk-literacy of their periodontal disease. The addition of four Likert-scale questions concerning experience with the periodontal chart was added to the control group. An additional eight questions were added to the experimental group’s post-test concerning experience and understandability with the periodontal chart and 3D digital intraoral scan.

Results: Participant communication self-efficacy (AURA survey) in the 3D intraoral scan experimental group did not statistically improve compared to the control group. Change in risk-literacy (PMS questionnaire) between the control and experimental groups found no statistical significance between the pre- and post-tests and individual questions. Although there was no significant difference found in AURA and PMS scores, anecdotal discussion found communication between provider and patient was enhanced. Questions regarding periodontal disease during the educational portion were asked showing a deeper level of critical thinking by both the control and experimental groups. A high correlation (p< 0.03; N=21) was found between an elevated PMS posttest #1 score and elevated experience Post-test score for the whole group indicating that a high risk-literacy score is correlated to a high level of comprehension.

Conclusion: Statistical significance was difficult to achieve due to a small sample size and the high education level of participants, and therefore results had no significant results as to whether or not a 3D digital scan, when used as a visual aid, can improve patient communication self-efficacy and risk-literacy concerning periodontal disease.