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Date of Award

Spring 2021


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Document Type

Thesis: EWU Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene


Purpose: Research has shown dental implants improve quality of life. This study utilized an educational course and before and after course surveys to observe differences in dental providers in regards to confidence performing dental implant maintenance, changes in collaboration, and utilization of the new 2018 AAP classifications on dental implants.

Methods: Dentists (n = 3) and dental hygienists (n = 81) attended a course on dental implant maintenance and were invited to participate in three surveys: a pre-course survey, a post-course survey that was send immediately after the course and open for a week, and a second postcourse survey that was sent three weeks after the course and open for two weeks. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered via the time series surveys to determine whether confidence was gained through the educational program and whether intraprofessional education can increase collaboration.

Results: The study showed utilization of the 2018 AAP classifications on dental implant health increased between the pre-course survey and the second post-course survey. Results from the paired t-test for confidence levels indicate statistical significance in the pre- and first postcourse surveys (p = 0.0041), and in the pre- and second post-course surveys (p = 0.034). Results from the paired t-test regarding collaboration levels in implant maintenance indicate statistical significance on the pre- and second post-course surveys (p = 0.031). Ten (n = 10) of 37 (N = 37) participants on the descriptive analysis showed increased levels of confidence related to the assessment of dental implant health. Six of the 37 participants (n = 6) felt increased confidence in recommendations for homecare for the patient. When asked what they saw as future opportunities to collaborate with their fellow hygienist/dentist, 13 participants (n = 13) said that they would like to take more CE on dental implant maintenance together.

Conclusion: Continuing educational courses on dental implant maintenance can have a statistically significant impact on confidence and collaboration levels. As dental implants continue to be the replacement for the loss of natural teeth, it is important that dental providers feel confident in treating and assisting patients maintain the health of their dental implants.