Title

Debt and practice profiles of beginning dental practitioners

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Journal of the California Dental Association

ISSN

1043-2256

Volume

30

Issue

12

First Page

909

Last Page

914

Publication Date

1-1-2002

Abstract

Escalating student debt for dental education has led some to speculate that beginning practitioners may undertake procedures that are beyond their competence in an effort to augment practice income. This hypothesis was tested directLy using a data set containing self-reports of practice profiles across a wide range of procedures and debt for education, practice, and personal purposes. Respondents were 113 individuals who had graduated from a private dental school from 1986 to 1997. Conservative dental practice was measured by comparing frequency of commonly and uncommonly performed procedures in the group as a whole against the profile for each respondent. There was no association between educationaL debt and propensity to engage in unconventional procedures. Older dentists and those who felt more competent at the time of graduation were less conservative. Amount of practice debt was a better predictor of unconventional practice than was educational debt.

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