Master of Science (MS)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Fifth Committee Member
Number of Pages
This study evaluated how parents of prospective orthodontic patients choose between taking their child to a general dentist or an orthodontist for orthodontic treatment. It also looked at which factors influence patients’ satisfaction with the progress of treatment and likelihood to refer other patients to the practice. This study included two phases. The first phase was a qualitative assessment of the decision making process through conducting and analyzing focus groups. The second phase was the development and administration of a nationwide online survey regarding the topics covered in the focus groups. Influential factors in the decision making process fell into 6 major themes: providers’ personal characteristics, office management, referrals, location/physical environment of the office, financial considerations, and training/experience of the provider. The focus groups suggest that parents almost always prefer orthodontists over general dentists for orthodontic treatment, however if there was a substantial price difference parents would consider a general dentist. Approximately 19% of the respondents were currently in treatment with a general dentist. Factors involving communication of the provider were considered most important followed by financial considerations and office management issues. Social media had relatively little influence on the decision compared to a referral from a friend or family member. Analysis of variants showed significant differences within the major themes between males and females, household income levels, insurance status, and treatment from a general dentist or orthodontist. Satisfaction with treatment was higher with orthodontists. While factors involving communication of the provider were most important for selecting a provider, the provider developing a relationship with the parent and patient were more influential in satisfaction with the progress of treatment.
choice; decision; decision-making; marketing; orthodontist
Dentistry | Marketing | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Wilde, Brian Robert, "Assessment of Orthodontic Patients' Preferences Regarding Treatment from General Dentists or Orthodontists" (2015). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 2592.