Date of Award

Summer 1984

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Michele L. Darby

Committee Member

Cameron Lowe

Committee Member

Kenneth Albinder

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.D46F67


The purpose of this survey was to determine attitudes of orthodontists toward employing dental hygienists. A self-designed, 33 item questionnaire was used to obtain descriptive data. The questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of orthodontists chosen from the United States portion of the Orthodontic Directory of the World (N=500). Data were obtained from 298 orthodontists for a 58.6 percent response rate.

The study suggests that although orthodontists believe dental hygienists are important oral health professionals (96.2 percent) and important parts of the orthodontic practice (32.6 percent), only 10.9 percent of orthodontists surveyed employ dental hygienists. Factors determined to be important in assessing orthodontists' employment tendencies included the cost of employing a dental hygienist, the perceived adequacy of dental assistants in preventive oral health instruction, the office workload necessary to justify dental hygiene employment, and the necessity of the dental hygienist as part of the orthodontic team. Findings also suggest that orthodontists who graduated between 1960-1981 and orthodontists with large practices employ dental hygienists more frequently. In addition9 orthodontists surveyed in the northeast region employed dental hygienists more frequently than those in other regions.


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